Fulani Herdsmen Invade Takum Few Days After Buhari’s Visit

The hometown of the Taraba State Governor (Governor Darius Ishaku) and a former Minster for Defence (Gen. Theophilus Danjuma ) Takum, was invaded few days after the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari.

Recall that President Buhari had visited Taraba to avert violence especially killings by herdsmen in the state. The attacks, which were launched on Tuesday by the Fulani herdsmen, spread to other communities in Takum Wednesday.

Buhari, who visited Taraba State on Monday over the protracted Fulani herdsmen/farmers clashes in the state, especially in the Mambilla Plateau where scores of people were killed and property worth millions of naira destroyed, had assured that security agencies would restore law and order in the state.

At the time of filing this report, two bodies were found in Takum as the attacks spread to the adjoining communities in Takum and Ussa councils.

A security personnel in Takum who sought anonymity, said that the attacks were on-going and that local vigilantes at checkpoints to defend their communities had fled for fear of being killed by the herdsmen, especially as they had disarmed following the ultimatum by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Kpotun Idris.

Takum is the home town of Governor Ishaku and T. Y. Danjuma, a former Chief of Army Staff. A battalion of the Nigerian Army is domiciled in the town being a security flashpoint in recent times.

Yesterday, the Police confirmed the attack in Takum, but declared they were waiting for details from the affected areas.

The Police Public Relations Officer, David Misal, said that there were reports of attacks in a particular community, adding that “I am waiting for more information from the Divisional Police Officer (DPO)”.

 

15 People Killed In Fresh Herdsmen Attack In Benue State

15 people have reportedly been killed in the freshest attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Olosu, a village in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State.

According to police report the incident took place after a peace meeting was summoned to address fight between Irate Youths from Omutu and some herdsmen. The incident also lead to loss of properties as houses were set ablaze.

The herdsmen during the meeting went on rampage slaughtering 15 people and setting houses ablaze.

The location of the attack is said to be close to the camp of the herdsmen.

The Benue State Police Command, in a statement, confirmed the killings to DAILY POST, stating that four suspects had been arrested in connection with the gruesome murder.

The statement read “The Benue Police wishes to report that, today at about 0730hrs, information was received from the Security Adviser, Okpokwu LGA that some Irate Youths from Omutu engaged some Herdsmen in a fight, maiming some cows, while two (2) herdsmen were found missing.

“A peace meeting was immediately initiated with the Chairman of the LGA and the Head of the Fulani Community in the area, while a Police Search Party went in search of the 2 missing Herdsmen, one of who was found killed.

“Unfortunately, as the search and peace meeting were ongoing, some herdsmen surreptitiously went on rampage, resulting in matcheting to death of 15 persons mainly women and children, while some houses were set ablaze.

“Four (4) suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the gruesome murder. An extensive patrol of the community is ongoing which will be reinforce with the Special Forces.”

 

Buhari Approves Fulani Herdsmen Found With Arms Be Charged To Court

Following incessant attacks of Fulani herdsmen on farmers, and members of various communities all over the country, President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday, March 5, 2018, directed that any Fulani man found in possession of AK-47 rifles should be charged to court.

The President gave this order during a visit to Jalingo, the Taraba State capital during a to commiserate with people that lost loved ones in the wake of violence that engulfed the area recently.

“Any Fulani man caught with AK-47 should be charged to court.”

He said his reason to visit Taraba State first was informed by the large-scale killing at Mambila Plateau which he described as more than the number of those killed in Benue and Zamfara states

He said he will soon embark on the same visit to Zamfara and Benue states, also to condole with those who lost their loved ones.

The President called on the traditional rulers in the state to go to their chiefdoms and preach peace among their subjects for peaceful coexistence among their people.

He said traditional rulers in Nigeria were the main land lords, while politicians like himself as the President and Governor Darius Ishaku of Taraba State were visitors who might not stay on their seats for ever.

“Any Fulani man caught with AK-47 should be charged to court. You, the traditional rulers are going to remain on your stools till you die; Ishaku (the governor) and I may not last on our seats for long but you are going to be there till you die.

“Please go to your domains and initiate peace among your people. These killings will not help us,” President Buhari said.

The representatives of Yandan, Fulani and Mambila tribes who were allowed to speak on the occasion, called on the President to instil justice in the land for the people to live in peace.

Earlier in his comment, Taraba State governor, Darius Ishaku, appreciated the President for finding time to visit the state for condolences.

Ishaku said the crisis in the state had hindered speedy development which the state government initially initiated.

He pleaded with with the President to mobilize more security personnel in the state to forestall further crisis among the people.

Buhari planning more visits to Benue, Zamfara, Yobe, Rivers

President Muhammadu Buhari is planning more trips to Benue, Taraba, Zamfara, Yobe and Rivers states, which have recorded different forms of violence in 2018.

The development comes weeks after the President was criticised for not visiting the states to sympathise with the people.

On Saturday, images of the President at a wedding ceremony in Kano sparked negative reactions on social media.

Femi Adesina, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, disclosed news of the President’s visit to the state in a statement yesterday.

This is even as Benue State Government stated yesterday that the visit will afford the people ample opportunity to table their problems before the President, as President Buhari started the assessment with a visist to Taraba yesterday.

On the President’s proposed visit to the troubled states, Adesina said: “In view of recent terrorist attacks, criminal activities and communal clashes in some states leading to tragic loss of lives and kidnapping of 110 schoolgirls, President Buhari immediately tasked the Armed Forces and other Security agencies to compile comprehensive reports on the various incidents.

“Having received and studied the reports, the President has decided to undertake an on-the-spot assessment of the various occurrences and to meet and console the communities affected.

“From today, March 5, he will visit Taraba, and subsequently Benue, Yobe, Zamfara and Rivers states.

“President Buhari has been receiving daily briefings, and has been in constant touch with the governors, and has been updated with situation reports.

“The President calls on all Nigerians, especially those in the affected areas, to cooperate fully with the security agencies to enable them curb the spate of crimes, bring those responsible to justice and prevent further occurrences.”

 

No Revered Monarch In This State Will Say That- Fatai Owoseni

Benue State Monarch as allegedly accused the Police for hiding the Fulani Herdsmen militant. Fatai Owoseni, Benue State Commissioner of Police responds in an interview.

“That is very sad. Not just sad, but I know that no revered monarch in this state will say that. Maybe some people are making those statements disguising as monarchs. What I know is that all the revered monarchs in this state have acknowledged that the police and other security agencies are doing their best to put an end to security challenges. They will not come out to say that the police are under instruction to protect Fulani. That will be very sad, given the losses the Nigeria police have suffered.”

“What the Nigeria police deserve now is encouragement because the police personnel, who are not indigenes, are in the state to serve their fatherland. Many of them have been hacked down in the crisis. It will be unfortunate for anyone to say that the police are under instruction to protect one side or the other. Our obligation to the people of this country is to discharge our statutory duties of protecting lives and properties and pronto, that is exactly what we have been doing without bias to any political, tribal or religious leaning. We must also emphasise that the police have remained the major organisation that has contributed to the unity of this country. The IG has supported every effort in bringing an end to this crisis; a Deputy IG has been on the ground, except if people wouldn’t say the truth. For the past two weeks, we have seen a drastic reduction in the hostilities and that is something people of this state should commend”.

“I will repeat it: It is very sad and unfortunate. Anyone that makes such insinuation must be an agent of conflict in the state, what we need is for every stakeholder to partner with the police and other security agencies to ensure that we are able to get those causing crisis in the state. As I speak to you, I can roll out the areas we have covered. We have interacted with various IDPs. We have placed security in the areas in order to give them assurance. If you go round to some of these places, some of the displaced persons have come back fully, some partially. The ones I said returned partially are the ones who would go to their communities during the day but in the evening, you will see them in the camps, maybe, for shelter or for food. What we should be thinking of now is how to rebuild, because if we do not rebuild those communities, even if you have 100 per cent security there, people will still be going in and out of the IDP camps.”

Herdsmen Killings: British Prime Minister Urges FG To Find Solution

The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has said the British Government is engaging Nigeria’s federal and state governments over killings allegedly being perpetrated by herdsmen in some parts of the country.

This is contained in a letter signed by Angela Almona (Whitehall Nigeria Unit) of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The letter was addressed to Dr Kohol Shadrach Iornem, the Vice President of the Mutual Union of Tiv in the United Kingdom.

The Publicity Secretary of MUTUK, Salome Biam, in a cover note which accompanied the letter, said the British Prime Minister was replying to a protest letter earlier submitted to her over the killings in Benue State where 73 people were given a mass burial.

May was quoted in the letter as saying, “We express our concerns about this issue and encourage the government to work with the affected populations to develop a solution that meets the needs of all the communities affected.

“The British Government is concerned about the issue of unprovoked attacks and killing by Fulani herdsmen in Benue and some states and we are engaging the government of Nigeria to find a solution to these killings.”

Biam said the Tiv community in the UK had, on January 22, staged a protest to the office of the Prime Minister and submitted a petition to her office.

The petition was titled: ‘Stopping the systematic killings and displacement of rural farming communities by Terror Fulani Cattle Herdsmen in the Benue Valley of Nigeria’.

The Tiv community requested the British Government to consider intervening in the alleged systematic ethnic cleansing against their people and other tribes in Nigeria.

The protesters also requested the British Government to compel the Federal Government of Nigeria to take necessary steps to identify and disarm the Fulani herders and their accomplices while providing protection for the victims.

PHOTOS: Fulani Herdsmen Take Traditional Oath In Ekiti

Fulani herders in Ekiti and South West have taken a traditional oath binding on them to assure the host communities in Ekiti, and by extension, the South West Nigeria, that they would no longer behave unruly, kill or allow their cows to stray into farms.

 

The traditional oath, revealed to be an effective cultural sanction on herders as its violation is believed to bring tragedy on the culprit, was administered by Alhaji Ardo Mairero, the Sarkin Fulani of Kwara State during the peace meeting of all parties involved in herdsmen challenge in the state who include Alhaji, Ibrahim Shekarau, Alhaji Mohammad Leewa, National President, Miyetti Allah , Mohammad Kiruwa, Governor Peter Ayodele Fayose, Ekiti Deputy Governor, Olusola Kolapo, Secretary to State Government, (SSG), Modupe Alade, Chief of Staff, Dipo Anisulowo, Agriculture Commissioner, Kehinde Odebunmi and Miyetti Allah national and zonal leaders.

Photos: Fulani herdsmen?take traditional oath to assure Ekiti State residents of peaceful co-existence

Also, a communique, co-signed by governor Fayose, Alhaji Shekarau, representative of HRH Muhammad Sanusi 11, Emir of Kano, Mrs. Alade, (SSG) , Alhaji Kiruwa, National President ,Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association and Alhaji Mohammad Kabir, Zonal Chairman,South West, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and witnessed by Alhaji Nasamu Muhammad, Chiraman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Ekiti State, was released through the office of the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Fayose, Mr . Idowu Adelusi.

 

Adeslusi said: “of most significance of the peace meeting of February 19 by the stakeholders was the traditional oath taken with kolanuts as agreement that the herdsmen in Ekiti will not behave unruly any longer, kill or allow their cows to stray into farms. It was administered with kola and sharing of the kola , which is a Fulani tradition that is binding on the initiators. With this oath, issues of robbery, killing, damaging of farms and kidnapping among others being allegedly perpetuated by Fulani herders are over in the state. The meeting and signing of the memorandum by all parties lasted for two hours between 11pm on Monday 19 to 1am of Tuesday, February 20, ” he said.

 

The communique, released to newsmen yesterday in Ado Ekiti,state capital, reads in part: ” A truce meeting, initiated by the Emir of Kano and the Governor of Ekiti State over pastoralists menace was held on Monday, February 19 , the Governor, His Excellency, Prof. Kolapo Olusola, deputy Governor, His Excellency, Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, former Governor of Kano State representing the Emir of Kano HRH Muhammed Sanusi 11, Traditional rulers in Ekiti State, President and leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association ( both National and South west). Members of Ekiti State Executive Council, Members, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Security Chiefs and all key stakeholders in Ekiti State.

Photos: Fulani herdsmen?take traditional oath to assure Ekiti State residents of peaceful co-existence

” The representatives of Emir of Kano,Alhaji Ibrahim Shekarau, conveyed the concern of the Emir over broken down relationship between herdsmen and host communities that has led to loss of lives in Ekiti State and other parts of the country. The Emir commiserated with the families of those whose lives have been cut short due to the attacks, and reprisals of herders and associated consequences”. It went further to say: ” Similarly, the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and patrons condemned in strong terms any form if killing that has taken place.

 

The Emir,through his representatives stated and it was uniamously agreed that henceforth; All herders must obey the anti-grazing and relevant laws of the land.”

 

The communique further gave the following resolutions: “.That herdsmen must stop attacks on any member of the host communities, any herder that breaches the peace should be prepared to face the wrath of the law, and Ekiti people should not provoke the herdsman or kill their cattle.”

 

It concludes that : “It is therefore agreed that pastoralists / farmers crisis and killings,under any guise must stop immediately. The meeting supports the anti-night grazing stand of the law because it protects the interest of all parties,and the law taken its course in the violation of letters of these resolutions. Similarly, the meeting describes Governor Fayose as a peaceful leader who represents hope for all.”

Reps Ask FG To Enlighten, Assist Herders On Ranching

The House of Representatives has called on the federal government to educate and encourage herdsmen on the benefits of ranching instead of the proposed cattle colonies in states of the federation.

Adopting a motion by Mohammed Onawo (Nasarawa-PDP), the House urged the federal government to consider a soft or subsidised loan scheme for cattle owners to buy land as a means of encouragement for them to ranch.

Mr. Onawo, a former speaker of the Nasarawa State house of assembly said the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers have posed serious security challenges in Nigeria.

“Most of those clashes stem from the practice of herdsmen roaming in the wild across the length and breadth of the country in search of grazing pastures for their cattle and as a result, trespassing into, and damaging crops in farms”

He emphasised that the decision to establish cattle colonies in each state could be in violation of Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and the Land Use Act as those colonies will remain the exclusive reserve of the individual state governments and as such, would not guarantee total freedom to the herdsmen.

He added that the ranching will offer longer lasting solution to the recurring conflicts between herdsmen and farmers, if the herdsmen would be fully sensitised and educated about the benefits of the program, as it would enable them assume full ownership of those ranches.

The House also urged the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources to liaise with state ministries of agriculture to speedily educate and encourage the herdsmen on the benefits of ranching.

The federal government had announced plans to commence the establishment of cattle colonies in states that have indicated interest.

Nigerians have expressed mixed reactions over the proposal for cattle colonies. Some states like Benue and Taraba, which have experienced clashes between farmers and herdsmen, have rejected the proposal, while others like Kogi and Kano supported it.

No Plans To Enact Anti-Grazing Law In Osun – Commissioner

By Nofisat Marindoti
Commissioner for Special Duties in the State of Osun, Hon. Mudashiru Toogun has revealed that there are no plans to enact Anti-grazing law in the State, adding that the adopted traditional ways of settling disputes between farmers and herdsmen have been effective and potent.
He added that such law could be counter-productive with the present atmosphere across the state.
Toogun, who doubles as the Chairman of the Committee on Peaceful Co-existence between Fulani /Bororo and Crop Farmers in Osun disclosed this during a press conference at the Osun NUJ Correspondents’ Chapel in Osogbo.
The Commissioner also stated that the state would soon commence enumeration of cattle to identify strayed cows and their owners for necessary action.
He explained that the process of enumeration would be done by tagging cows with distinct number that suggests traceable owners.
According to him, this is a furtherance of an adopted conflict resolution mechanism in the state with regards to farmers / herders’s co-existence.
Toogun noted that the Aregbesola led administration has been able to maintain relative peace amongst farmers and herdsmen with conscious integration of the Fulani settlers into the society by making provision for necessary and basic needs of the herders.
“In the course of looking for ways in which the relative peace we enjoyed between farmers and herdsmen could be sustained, we discovered important needs of the herders, which include: Water and education.
“The government had sunk over 13 boreholes in various Fulani communities and befitting schools for their children for qualitative education.
“In addition to that, we are embarking on enumeration of cattle in the state for the purpose of linking strayed cows with their owners,  which will make amicable settlement of issues of invasion of farms easier and proactive”, he said..
On the idea of State Police,  Toogun stressed that state policing remains lasting solution to the menace of incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers across the country.
” In a situation where arrested herdsmen were set free by the police,  citing “orders” from the above for such an action is dangerous and capable of frustrating any move to sustain peaceful co-existence.
“I believe Nigeria needs police institution that understands it’s terrain of operation better and operate in accordance with the norm of its environment.
“For me, State Police is the way to go if we are really serious about resolving this National challenge before it gets out of control.”he added

Military Starts Operation Cat Race Exercise In Benue

Operation Cat Race, the military exercise aimed at curbing conflicts and other criminal activities in the north central is set to take off today in Benue state.

Ahead of the formal inauguration of the operation, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai, has visited Governor Samuel Ortom at the Government House in Makurdi the state capital.

According to General Buratai, the exercise is aimed to familiarise the Army with the terrain and the peculiar security challenges of the area.

It is expected that this would bring under control, to a large extent, the issues of farmers and herdsmen crisis and other ancillary security challenges in that zone.

The Army had said on Wednesday last week announced that the operation would run from February 15 to March 31 in Benue, Taraba, Kogi, Nasarawa, Kaduna and Niger states.

Giving a brief on the Security Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari, Adesina said issued considered include the farmers-herdsmen crisis in different parts of the country.

According to him, others are cattle rustling, kidnapping, banditry, as well as anything that constitutes security challenge, while the intention is to tackle the issues.

The President’s spokesman noted that the recent efforts by his principal have shown that he was not enjoying himself in his air-conditioned home and doing nothing about the killings reported in the country.

He, however, maintained that President Buhari is up and doing in addressing the security challenges which he said were giving him a lot of concern.

Mr Adesina further assured Nigerians that the Federal Government is working hard to reduce the crisis to the barest minimum, if not completely controlled totally.

However, the scene of the launch, which is Gbajimba in Guma Local Government Area, has witnessed a spate of attacks by suspected herdsmen operating along the Benue-Nasarawa border.

Fulani Herdsmen Crisis Caused By Societal Issues – Aregbesola

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has described the Fulani herdsmen activities as a product of disregard for their immediate environment rather than an ethical issue.

The Governor also challenged Nigeria to be strong and bond to take the leadership role of leading the black man to the zenith of the world.

The Governor spoke in Ado-Ekiti during a visit and an interactive session he held with students at the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti.

Aregbesola said it is wrong to see the issue of the Fulani herdsmen as just an ethnic issue or from the political angle, saying most of their action is as a result of the primitive way things are still being handled in the country.

He stated further that they did not just become wild because they are herdsmen but because Nigeria as a nation has completely disregarded the environment and because nobody has cared to help them.

While emphasising that their actions are not justifiable, he noted that the root of the problem is the poor economy and the underdevelopment of the country.

He however explained that the challenges posed by the Fulani herdsmen could be turned into a huge business and economic development opportunity if the right approach is used to tackle the issue.

The Governor stressed that he expects scholars from the various universities across the country to begin to engage in researches and come up with ideas to produce pasture and other feeds which the cattles in Nigeria can use to feed all year round, saying the cattle herdsmen will be willing to buy it.

According to Aregbesola, “as much as I condemn the activities of the Fulani herdsmen, I think it is not about one ethnic group, my personal opinion is that we have not given them an alternative as a people.

“I am sure they too can not say they enjoy the manner in which they roam about with their cattles, the challenge is caused by the primitive nature we still do things in this part of the world, it is caused by our total disregard of our environment and because we have never cared to look at how to help these herdsmen.

“The challenge is also about poverty and our refusal to begin to use our God-given knowledge as a people to solve our myriad societal problems we have as a nation of which the herdsmen killings is among.

“For emphasis, I am not justifying the criminality of the herdsmen, in fact I condemn it in all totality, I am only saying the root cause of the problem is our poor economy and our refusal to develop ourselves.

“I want to tell you that there is a business angle which can help nip this crisis in the bud, but it is a pity that we are not looking into it.

“If our scholars through our universities can look inwards and find an alternative to the herdsmen grazing the land indiscriminately with their cattles, I think the herdsmen too will embrace it and be willing to pay for it which I see as a business opportunity”. Aregbesola said.

The Osun governor also used the event to challenge Nigeria as a nation to rise up to the challenge of being the rallying point of Africans and all black men all over the world, saying if the black man must succeed then Nigeria must not fail as a nation.

 

Suspected Herdsmen Kills 4, Injures 1

Suspected Fulani Herdsmen invaded Bakin Kogi village, in Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, killing four persons, while a woman sustained injury.

A source who craved anonymity said the incident occurred at about 10:00am when Sunday worshipers were returning from church.

He said apart from the four that died, a woman was seriously injured and is currently receiving treatment in an undisclosed hospital in Kafanchan, the headquarters of the Jema’a Local Council.

According to the source, the victims were coming from where they went to tap palm wine when they met their sudden death.

He said the Fulani herdsmen ambushed and shot dead the four victims.

“We heard gun shots at about 10:00am when we were coming back from the church.

“The victims, four in number, went to tap palm wine. It was on their way back that they were ambushed and killed.

“They died instantly, while a woman was severely injured. She was rushed to a hospital in Kafanchan where she is receiving treatment at the moment.”

Also, a resident who gave his name as James Aboki, said the gunmen invaded the village from an outskirt, shooting at anyone in sight, killing four persons on the spot and injuring one while several other people at the scene escaped.

It was gathered that as the shooting lasted, no single security operative was sighted.

Though the police in Kaduna confirmed the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Mukhtar Aliyu, said he had yet to get full details.