The soldiers of the Guards Brigade of the Nigeria Army have arrested 92 armed Fulani herdsmen in Abuja. According to the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations of the Guards Brigade, Captain Bashir Jajira, 36 of the suspects were arrested by the troops at a military checkpoint between the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and Nasarawa State while 56 others who were also armed were arrested by the soldiers at a military checkpoint at Dantata, along the Abuja Airport Road.
The suspected herdsmen claimed they were on a mission to recover their stolen cows. The Guard released a statement which read:
“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.”
Capt. Bashir said the arrested herdsmen would be handed over to the police for prosecution.
Meanwhile, while speaking on a breakfast programme of Channels Television, Sunrise Daily, on Monday, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said that President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the deployment of military to all parts of the country currently witnessing bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers,dis-bunking the claim that the president has been silent on the issue of the clashes.
Shehu recalls that the President had taken the issue before the National Council of State with a view to getting state governors’ inputs to the solutions. He added that the government was contemplating carving out of grazing reserves for cattle rearers.
Some Benue farmers of Tyoshin community in the Gwer-West Local Government Area of the state have sued six Fulani herdsmen for destroying their farms, demanding N100 billion.
Fulani herdsmen have had a standing history of attacking communities in the Gwer-West LGA since 2011. During the latest attacks, 17 communities were destroyed while unspecified number of houses, farms and stores of harvested crops were destroyed. 33 shallow graves of women and children killed in the attacks, were reportedly seen by pressmen during a tour of the affected communities organised by the Chairman of the Gwer-West LGA traditional council, Chef Daniel Abomtse.