Again, troops arrest seven herders destroying farms in Benue State

Fulani Herdsmen. PHOTO: Issouf Sanogo (AFP/File)

Foundation urges unity, peace coexistence
Troops of Sub-sector A of the Nigerian Army executing the Ayem Akpatuma (Cat Race) military exercise say they have again arrested seven herdsmen destroying farms in Benue State.

The soldiers had on Monday apprehended 10 herders perpetrating same evil act at Tse-Tigir and Tse-Ndugh villages, bringing the arrests to 17 in the last four days.

A statement yesterday by the Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Jude Chukwu, said the military arrested four of the suspects at Gbajimba-Kaseyo-Awe and three others along Buruku-Uba-Abeda-Ameh and Fadama Kuturu yesterday, adding that a cache of weapons were recovered from the suspects.

The army spokesman also disclosed that the Special Forces Team B of the Command Army Record Lokoja engaged a gang of suspected kidnappers along Okene-Lokoja road following a distressed call.

He said the gang had abducted one Alhaji Momoh on February 18, 2018, adding that during the ensuing gun duel, the kidnappers fled into the nearby bush.

Chukwu therefore urged Nigerians to keep providing useful information for the successful prosecution of the military expedition.

However, the Chairman, Board of Trustees of Ahmadu Bello Memorial Foundation and former governor of Niger State, Aliyu Babangida, has decried the deadly activities of herdsmen nationwide, noting that things would have been better if governors were not “mere glorified chief security officers of their states.”

Leading a delegation on a condolence visit to Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday in Makurdi over the murder of 73 persons by suspected herdsmen on New Year Day, Babangida regretted that despite the huge investments on security agencies by his government during his eight-year stewardship, he still could not exert control over them, as they were only answerable to federal authorities.

On the security situation in Benue, Aliyu stressed the need for honesty and objectivity in appreciating the pains of the people, insisting that the perpetrators must be arrested and prosecuted.

He, however, urged northern leaders to imbibe the principle of justice that once united the region.

The Chairman, Advisory Council of the foundation, retired Justice Mamman Nasir, observed that the insecurity in the state was created by some unknown forces outside the north, pledging that they would do their best to restore peace in the entire zone.

The Tor Sankara 1, Chief Abu King Shuluwa, accused the Fulani of refusing to abide by the legacy of oneness and co-existence bequeathed to followers by the late Ahmadu Bello.

A one-time governor of the state and the foundation’s vice chairman, Gabriel Suswam, condemned the happenings in Benue, saying they negate the principle and spirit of togetherness of the north, just as he pledged that Justice Nasir would take the issue to the appropriate quarters.

Governor Ortom urged the foundation to evoke the spirit of the late Sarduna of Sokoto in the “restoration of peace and unity in our communities.”

He intimated the delegation that 68000 internally displaced persons, predominantly children, had been spread in eight camps statewide.

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Benue stateNigerian Army

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