Tuesday, 19 April 2016
Soldiers arrest 92 armed herdsmen in Abuja
The soldiers of the Guards Brigade of the Nigeria Army have arrested 92 Fulani herdsmen in Abuja. The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations of the Guards Brigade, Capt. Bashir Jajira, said that 36 of the suspects were arrested by the troops at a military checkpoint between the Federal Capital Territory and Nasarawa State.
The suspected herdsmen were said to have told the soldiers that they were on a mission to recover their stolen cows. He said that 56 others who were also armed were arrested by the soldiers at a military checkpoint at Dantata, along the Abuja Airport Road.
He said that the troops recovered ‘one pump action gun, 19 cartridge dane guns, 118 cartridge ammo, 28 cutlasses, 3 jack knives, 14 sticks, 7 torch lights, certificate of occupancy, assorted charms and hard drugs.’
He said, “A group of 36 herdsmen in Diana Truck and Toyota Camry car with registration number Abu Kuje 994 FX and Niger SUL 541 XA were intercepted and arrested at 177 Guards Battalion location by Keffi checkpoint. “During the interrogation by troops at the checkpoint, they claimed to be going to Nasarawa Local Government in Nasarawa State.” He said that the arrested herdsmen would be handed over to the police for prosecution.
This came just as President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the deployment of military to all parts of the country currently witnessing bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers. The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, disclosed this while featuring on a breakfast programme of Channel s Television, Sunrise Daily, on Monday.
The programme was monitored by one of our correspondents in Abuja. Shehu said there was no truth in the claim that Buhari had been largely silent on the issue of the clashes. He recalled that the President had taken the issue before the National Council of State with a view to getting state governors’ inputs to the solutions.
In the meantime, he said the government was contemplating carving out of grazing reserves for cattle rearers. Meanwhile, no fewer than 23,000 Internally Displaced Persons in the Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State are battling with the problem of shelter as the rains set in.
The Chairman, Caretaker Committee, Agatu Local Government Area, Mr. Joseph Ngbede, stated this on Monday when Governor Samuel Ortom visited Ugbokpo, Ojantele and Ataganyi communities of the Apa Local Government Area, where the camps of the IDPs are located.
The IDPs are Benue indigenes displaced during the clashes involving Fulani herdsmen and Agatu people. Ngbede said that only the LGEA Primary School at Ayila was standing in the over 20 villages destroyed in Agatu by herdsmen, maintaining that some of the displaced persons insisted on going to their farms to see what was left of their crops.
On the feeding of the displaced persons, the chairman said the items donated by individuals, government and non-governmental organisations as well as emergency management agencies at the state and at federal levels were being distributed to them on a daily basis.
He said those not displaced were also contributing towards the upkeep of the IDPs. He explained that the three villages of Ocholonya, Abugbe and Odugbeho that were occupied by herdsmen had been secured by soldiers. Meanwhile, the state’s deputy governor, Benson Abounu, has said that Agatu people have been rescued by soldiers.