Claim: The CDD have spotted a story circulating on WhatsApp alleging that Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, (MACBAN) are insisting that the sum of N3.8 billion financial contribution made to the APC gubernatorial election in Akwa Ibom State Mr Nsima Ekere, and his godfather, Senator Godswill Akpabio is returned to them.
The claim further alleged that Nsima Ekere entered into an MOU dated January 15, 2019, with the Miyetti Allah to release lands in 31 local councils in the State for the establishment of Cattle Colonies if elected governor. Nsima Ekere was also said to have agreed to appoint Fulani Heads, to be known as Sarkin Fulani for the Cattle Colonies, with the Sarkin Fulani having the same status as Traditional Rulers. The MOU was alleged to have been signed by Nsima Ekere and Alhaji Muhammadu Kirowa and Baba Ngelzarma as the National President and Secretary on behalf of the Miyetti Allah.
The Facts: CDD fact checkers traced the story to an online blog, nigerianconcord. A blog established in February 2016. A cursory look on the blog reveals it as an outlet for political news, but most of the reports on the platform are mainly misinformation. The information on the platform suggests it is sympathetic to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Benue and Akwa Ibom States. The Blog adoption of the name Nigerian Concord may also be strategic as it seeks to pass itself off as the prestigious former Concord Newspaper.
On the 6th of March, nigerianconcord made similar claims in a news report prompting a response from the Akwa Ibom state APC who vehemently denied the allegations.
To further confirm or debunk the story, CDD fact checkers contacted the Miyetti Allah’s national secretary, Usman Baba-Ngelzarma, who denied sponsoring or entering into an MOU with Nsima Ekere or APC, Akwa Ibom. In his words:
“We are not aware of this. We have no business with the man, we don’t know about it, we have never had anything to do with the Awka Ibom APC, and we don’t know where the source of this news is from, it’s not from Miyetti Allah. We have no business with any political activity; this information is one of these fake news;” he said.
Also, when contacted, the spokesperson of the APC campaign council in Akwa Ibom State, Hon. Eseme Eyibo told CDD that the malicious news was of the making of mischief makers. “There is no need to fact check that. Was any money given in the first place, how was it given, through whom? This is a malicious fiction;” he said.
Available facts show that there is a credibility question of the blog from where this story originated. The blog failed to present enough evidence to back up their claims. The involved parties have also denied any involvement in the story outrightly calling it fake news. The political bias of the blog as evident in its publications casts further doubts on their genuine intentions thus justifying our verdict that the claims made therein are politically motivated and FALSE.