The federal government did not give Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association money during its recent meeting with the group in Brinin Kebbi, the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau, said on Monday.
The minister spoke in Anka, Zamfara, on Monday while fielding questions from journalists.
He described information that government gave the group money as the ”fabrication of mischief makers’’.
“Let me state categorically that during our meeting with members of the Miyetti Allah representatives, no issue of money was discussed at all, not to talk about giving them any.
“We did not give them even one kobo. The information being spread is the fabrication of mischief makers trying to divert from the matter facing us, which is the killing of innocent citizens.
“My visit to Zamfara today is in furtherance of that meeting to discuss with stakeholders and as you have seen, we are on course and confident that the issue of banditry in all the affected states is coming to an end,” he said.
The minister had earlier told the Emir of Anka, Attahiru Ahmad, that he was in the state at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari to address insecurity in the state.
He assured farmers that government would provide adequate security for them to farm without hindrance during the farming season.
Mr Ahmad, who is also the Chairman of the Council of Chiefs in the state, urged government to do more to resolve the crisis.
He said unless something more serious was done, there would be no farming in the state during the year, adding that many villages had been deserted with more displaced women and children coming to the towns.
Mr Ahmad said at the moment, there were more than 16,000 internally displaced persons in Anka who had escaped bandits’ attacks from nearby villages.
He advised that security agents should invade all the deserted villages which were now hiding places for the bandits to enable displaced villagers return home.