By Sunday Oyinloye
The Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of T PUMPY CONCEPT Limited, an Estate firm in Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, Adaralegbe Akintayo has denied ever paying ransom or giving money to herdsmen to buy arms as being circulated in a video on social media, saying it is an allegation from the pit of hell.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja yesterday, Akintayo expressed shock that a legitimate humanitarian gesture could be twisted to mean payment of ransom to bandits.
Flanked by Abubakar Suleiman, Chairman of FCT Fulani Dan Allah Development Association of Nigeria, Akintayo said at no point did he pay ransom to herders, rather, he showed humanitarian gesture to the Fulani people who were living in huts constructed on an expanse of land he acquired for the purpose of building an estate.
According to him, the video being circulated about him does not reflect what really transpired between him and some Fulani settlers on his land along Airport road in Abuja.
” We are estate developers and all our lands are government approved. The story you are reading on social media is false. Some people are just being callous with the video.
“Let me tell you what happened; if you get land through government acquisition, it is normal that you find farmers and some settlers there. On this particular land, we were able to identify the real farmers which are Gbagyis and we settled them for all their farm crops and their farm produce.
“We discovered that there is also Fulani settlement (huts) on the same land where they rear their cows and where they have been residing for about 30 years. They told me that they have been living there for about three decades. And we are humans. We had to negotiate with them and tell them that we had allocation to the land and want them to vacate the place, and they agreed. We agreed to give them N200, 000 per hut and we settled them. It was not an inducement or giving them money to buy arms as being circulated in the social media.
“That is far from the truth and a statement from the pit of hell. The FCT Chairman of the Fulanis is physically here and can explain what transpired between my organisations and his people”
Corroborating Akintayo, the, Chairman of FCT Fulani Dan Allah Development Association of Nigeria, Abubakar Suleiman said there was nothing like payment of ransom or giving out money to buy arms.
His words:” We have been on that land for about 30years. God brought this oga (man) who wants to develop the land. He settled the Gbagyis farming on the land first before us. My people said they also deserved to be compensated for their huts and they invited me as their Chairman in the Federal Capital Territory.
“When I got there, I met the developers clearing one side of the land. I talked to the site Engineer on how I can meet the owner of the land. From there, he called the owner of the land and Mr. Akintayo came to meet us there. As soon as he arrived, my people came out; women, children and youth. When he saw the children he said ohh, I am sorry, where is your school? And the adults responded that the children were not going to school.
“He said he wanted to develop his land. The Fulanis said before he starts developing the land, he should also compensate them for their huts. His site Engineer said they would pay N50, 000 per hut while the Fulanis said N250, 000 per hut. Then Mr. Akintayo pitied them and said he would give them N200, 000 per hut.
“Oga said he would come and pay by 9.00 am the following day. Then he asked for the number of huts and they were counted. The next day, he brought the money and he said they should write an undertaking that they have been settled. My people said he should do video instead of them writing an undertaking. And he asked his boys to do the video as he was giving the money to my people.
‘’ I am surprised that people are saying all sorts of things about the video. I want to remind those people that in the Federal Capital Territory here where I lead, there is nothing like that thing they call Fulani herdsmen here. They are not here. The Fulani people here are law abiding. I hold regular meetings with my people and their local government leaders and we all agreed that we are going to live peacefully with farmers in the FCT. I am surprised that some people turned the video to another thing. What they are saying is false. I have just narrated what happened”
“I am using this opportunity to tell Nigerians that, I Alhaji Abubakar Suleiman; Chairman of FCT Fulani Dan Allah Development Association of Nigeria will never allow or encourage crime in any form. I will never support bad things. I am also using this opportunity to call on the government to build schools for our children anywhere they are in Nigeria so that they can acquire knowledge.”“