Fulani Herdsmen: 20 People Allegedly Killed In Adamawa

At least 20 people have been killed in a fresh attack men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen in four communities in Demsa Local Government Area in Adamawa state.

According to the locals, the invaders attacked the communities at about 8am and set houses ablaze with property worth millions of naira destroyed.

Residents called on the federal government to save them from constant attack by Fulani militias.

The four affected communities have been deserted while security is said to have been drafted there.

The incident took place few days after herdsmen and farmers, at a stakeholders’ meeting promised to cohabit.

Presently the residents of the four affected communities have relocated to Borrong the headquarters of the district.

 

Herdsman Arrested With Bulletproof Vest

The Benue State Police Command has arrested a herdsman with a locally made bullet-proof vest and cutlass at Chegba village in Logo Local Government Area.

This was revealed in a statement signed by Col. Aliyu Yusuf on Sunday said the suspect had been handed over to the police.

Yusuf also said that troops during the patrol intervened in a violent clash between hunters and herdsmen in Obi Local Government following a distress call.

In related development, Yusuf said troops on patrol named Ayem Akpatuma, Cat Race, also seized a locally made pistol with one live cartridge at Gidan Kiya village, Ibbi Local Government Area of Taraba.

He called on the residents of the areas where the exercise was taking place to continue to cooperate with the troops by providing useful information and to report any suspicious movement to security agencies.

 

Police Can’t Arrest Herdsmen For Grazing On Airport Runways –Commissioner

The Commissioner of Police, Airport Command, Mustapha Dandaura, has revealed that members of the Nigeria Police Force cannot arrest herdsmen who allow their cattle to stray onto and graze on airport runways in the country.

Dandaura claimed that such arrest could only be made in states where the anti-open grazing law was effective.

In a recent media interview following the disruption of Akure airport operations by cows last weekend, he said, “It’s only in states where the anti-open grazing law is in place that herdsmen can be arrested for allowing their cattle to graze on airport runways. Apart from those states, we have not been told to start arresting herdsmen.

“But we have already alerted our men at the airports to ensure such incident does not occur again. The state police commands have also been carried along and everyone is on the alert.

“We can’t have a situation whereby cows would be straying onto and grazing on airport runways because it is embarrassing. Everyone is now on the alert and it’s going to be prevented.”

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria apologised Air Peace which was affected by the incident in Akure last week. The head of aviation security at the airport was also suspended.

ISIS Fighters Arrived Nigeria, Herdsmen Are Blamed

I must express my frustration as Nigerians continued to refer to perpetrators of the violence in North-Central Nigeria as “unknown gunmen”. Why should gunmen be unknown for years? They kill innocent people and destroy their means of livelihood and yet they are unknown. We have security agents mandated to ensure the safety of all citizens, spanning from the military to paramilitary agencies, we have intelligent units and yet these killers remain unknown.

Hamid Umar told me in AYOUROU in Niger Republic-Mali border during my investigation that ‘ISIS members returning from Syria and Iraq have moved from Mali to Niger to Nigeria and across West Africa’. ISIS fighters have arrived Nigeria.

Why are Nigeria’s cattle herders turning to jihadists like most gunmen in the so-called Islamic State in the greater Sahara, who operate along the sand-swept borderlands like Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Burkina Faso and others? The transition of herdsmen from vigilantes protecting their cows to jihadists capable of carrying out complex attacks is a story Africans and Western powers would do well to heed, as their pursuit of violent extremism in West Africa becomes ever more enmeshed in long-standing ethnic and clan conflicts.

What is happening in Benue, Taraba, Nassarawa and other middle-belt States in Nigeria is more than a strive between herdsmen and local farmers; it has gotten to the level of terrorism. African Islamic militants trained in Syria and Iraq now walks freely in North-Central Nigeria. Terrorists attacked the camp of Mobile policemen, Mopol 13 in Benue, killing two officers by slitting their throats. Do you call people who could invade the camp of mobile policemen in a guerilla manner and overpowered armed Mopol mere Fulani  herdsmen? They are terrorists not herdsmen; they are elements of ISIS fighters.

Between 3,000 and 6,000 so-called ‘foreign fighters’ – African citizens trained in Islamic state terror camps – have returned to Africa and pose a “completely new challenge and Nigerians are calling them herdsmen. Nigeria is currently facing the highest terror threat in more than a decade. I am warning of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) or other terror groups attack in Nigeria.

There are concrete indications that terrorists are systematically using the stream of herdsmen to come into Nigeria undetected. We can expect ISIS or other religious terror groups to stage an attack in Nigeria with the aim of achieving mass casualties among the civilian population  and that the risk of attacks by individuals has also not diminished.

Terrorists are infiltrating Nigeria under the guise of herdsmen. These worries are substantiated and confirmed in February after several killings in Benue, Nassarawa, Taraba, Edo, Delta and others which signified that ISIS militants had arrived the country pretending to be herdsmen. A bomb explosion was reported to have killed one person in Edo State, according to a statement from the state government.

The statement issued by the Government House, Benin City, said the explosion occurred in Okpella community, Etsako East Local Government Area, while a bomb-making facility has also been discovered in the area.

Up to 6,000 Africans who fought for the Islamic State (ISIS) jihadist group in Iraq and Syria could return home, the African Union’s top security official warned late last year, calling on countries to prepare for the threat. Smail Chergui, the AU’s commissioner for peace and security, said African nations would need to work closely with each other and share intelligence to counter returning militants.

“There are reports of 6,000 African fighters among the 30,000 foreign elements who joined this terrorist group in the Middle East. The return of these unscrupulous elements to Africa poses a serious threat to our national security and stability and requires specific treatment and intense co-operation between African countries”, Chergui told a meeting in Algiers, according to the Algeria Press Service News Agency.

10,000 foreign fighters joined the Sunni extremist group after it seized vast swathes of Iraq and Syria and declared a caliphate in 2014. But the group has suffered a severe losses to both its territory and military capabilities last year.

Terrorism is one of the biggest crimes against humanity. Every such crime deserves to be named appropriately, and nations experiencing such, owe it to their citizens to act swiftly and decisively against terrorists. What we have experienced so far with the “Fulani Herdsmen” is nothing short of terrorism and it is high time government handled it with the seriousness required for such a grave situation, not only to protect the lives and property of her innocent citizens, but also to preserve the tribal identity of the many real Fulani Herdsmen who are simply looking for livelihoods.

January 21, 2018: Security service organisations, including the Department of State Service, have in a report submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari said they have identified an Islamic State in West Africa network operating within some North Central and South-south sections of Nigeria that is using foreign terrorists and recruiting young men, fighting and killing innocent persons ostensibly to exacerbate tensions along the country’s ethnic, religious and regional fault lines.

According to a Presidency source, this discovery was made following the arrest of several suspected attackers made up of Fulani herdsmen, government-sponsored militias, militants and other miscreants in Benue State.

Among those in custody were many who spoke none of the Nigeria languages, but the French language. This is the first time that security officials have confirmed that the Islamic State in West Africa members are operating as a unit in Nigeria and the level of their penetration of the country. The source revealed that a “good number” of the Islamic State terrorists have been arrested not only in the Benue valley but significantly in several towns in Edo State, specifically in Akoko-Edo, Okpella and Benin as well as Okene in Kogi State”.

Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue, said that security agencies did not take proactive measures to protect the state against its aggressors after several complaints of planned attacks reported to them. Ortom made this known recently in Makurdi at a stakeholders meeting to discuss the security situation in the State.

 

Herdsmen Attack: Ayodele Fayose Supports Wole Soyinka’s Call For Organized Resistance

Ekiti State governor, Ayodele Fayose has supported Nobel Laureate Prof. Wole Soyika who recently called for an organized incursion of herdsmen in the country to stop the recent attacks.

Governor Fayose said: “The comfort our leaders enjoy from their office is momentary. But the suffering of the people may be permanent if the leaders continue to look away as if nothing is happening just because they are enjoying the comfort of their office.”

According to a statement, yesterday, by his Special Assistant on Public Communications and New Media, Lere Olayinka, Governor Fayose said he was particularly happy that notable leaders in the country, especially Prof Soyinka heeded his call for all men of good conscience to speak up against the wanton killing of Nigerians by herdsmen, who are acting more like terrorists.

He said Ekiti State will further strengthen local hunters in the States by formally bringing them together under Ekiti State Hunters Association, EKSA, and equipping them to protect our people and their sources of livelihood.

Fayose, who said that the herdsmen menace has become a major security and economic threat in the country, added that it was clear that the federal government was not ready to do anything to stop killings of Nigerians and invasion of people’s farms by herdsmen.

The governor maintained that those approaching the herdsmen menace with ethnic and religious sentiments were not helping the country, saying; “What Nigeria is witnessing now is pure criminality. It is terrorism in the name of cattle rearing and anyone defending the killing of fellow Nigerians and destruction of farmlands is an enemy of this country.

“If our people have decided to embrace farming, how do we reconcile a situation where their farms are either being destroyed by cows or cruelly set ablaze by supposed herdsmen?

“Today, in many parts of the country, people are even afraid to go to the farm for fear of being killed by supposed herdsmen. How do we promote agriculture under this kind of situation?

“Therefore, I salute the courage of Prof Soyinka for speaking out, though late, but it is better late than never.

“Those armed herdsmen are nothing but another form of Boko Haram insurgents and they must be treated as such.”

 

Osun Govt. Warns Herdsmen Against Destroying Farms

By Nofisat Marindoti
The State Government of Osun has condemned the habit of some nomadic herdsmen whose cattle eat up crops on farms settlements in the state, warning them against such menace.
The government however implored the farmers concerned not to retaliate but to report to appropriate quarters according to a statement issued at the end of the Weekly State Executive Council meeting and signed by the Media Adviser to the Governor, Mr Sola Fasure.
“Council received report of the menace of nomadic herdsmen who bring their cattle to eat up crops on farms and commit other crimes in the state. Council viewed this seriously and condemned it strongly. It is the council’s strong position that this development constitutes a threat to security of lives and food production in the state.
“Council is dismayed that many farmers in the state have been forced to abandon their farms, some of which have now been converted to criminal hideouts. Council sympathised with the farmers and urged those affected not to take laws into their own hand but should to bring this to the attention of law enforcement agencies and other relevant government agencies who are in the best position to address their plight.”
The meeting presided over by Governor Rauf Aregbesola also approved a memorandum on the appointment of Prince Michael Babatunde Sunday Adeyemi Adedeji from Adujelewu ruling house as the next Ado Oko of Ido Oko in Obokun Local Government.
Prince Adedeji emerged as the sole candidate of Adujelewu Ruling House at the end of its meeting on December 10, 2016 and was ratified by the kingmakers on October 12, 2017.
Directing the ministry of works too carry out a physical assessment of all the general hospitals in the State to determine their condition, the State Government approved that the inauguration of parliaments and governments of the local governments be carried out on Tuesday February 13, 2018.
“Council received report that harsh weather condition and old age have affected some of the general hospitals in the state. Council consequently directed the Ministry of Works to carry out physical assessment of all the general hospitals in the state to determine their physical condition, where and what need to be fixed therein and at what cost and report back to council.
“Council commended the swearing in ceremony of the 389 councillors representing all the wards in the state, as the parliamentary system of government takes off seamlessly. Council approved that the inauguration of the parliaments and governments of the local governments be carried out on Tuesday February 13, 2018.
“Council congratulated and urged them to take their calling seriously and provide effective representation and vibrant leadership for their people, in line with the parliamentary system of government.”

How Osun Curtailed Herdsmen Attack

The strategies adopted by the government of the State of Osun to prevent herdsmen attack which has been prevalent in some neighbouring states seem to be working well; as such attacks have not been pronounced in the state.

Commissioner for Special Duty, Honourable Mudashir Toogun said, “Governor Rauf Aregbesola has been proactive on the issue even before it becomes a security threat across the country, as far back as June 2014 when a committee was set up to interface between Fulani/Bororo herdsmen and farmers in the state, to see to the grievances arising from their respective activities.

In a chat with OSUN DEFENDER, Toogun said the mandate for the committee was to ensure smooth relationship between the herdsmen and farmers and design strategies to ensure that their activities do not lead to crisis in the agrarian areas in the state.

The committee, according to him, comprises of farmers, officials of relevant government agencies, Fulani/Bororo groups, adding that the activities of the committee had since been ensuring sustainability of peace between farmers and the herdsmen.

He said: “Part of the strategies we have adopted is to familiarise ourselves with the farmers and the herdsmen and address the issues raised by the two parties.

“For instance, the herdsmen presented their needs, which include the fact that they needed pasture where they can grace their cows, water for them and their cows, Hajj slots, and education for their children, and all these are being addressed.

“In addressing them, the government has provided 11 boreholes in their various settlements, gave them Hajj slots, and renovated nomadic schools in various settlements in collaboration with the State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB). All these have given the herdsmen and farmers the confidence that the government is actually determined to ensure peace between the two parties.

“Sometimes, there are issues of some disgruntled herdsmen destroying farmlands, and because of the sincerity of the government and the involvement of the Fulani/Bororos in the state, we were able to identify such cases and where necessary facilitate compensations for the affected farmers.

“Infact, Fulani/Bororo were instrumental to the identification of some set of disgruntled herdsmen who armed themselves and came to the state through Kwara State to Ila-Orangun and to Imesi-Ile in Obokun Local Government but due to the proactive measures put in place by the government, we were able to curtail them and send them packing”, Toogun explained.

He then tasked the people to always be vigilant and notify the appropriate quarters anytime any suspicious move is noticed.

Suspected Fulani Herdsmen Kill Nine In Kaduna

Unknown gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have allegedly killed nine people in a rural community in Kaduna on Wednesday.

The incident occurred at Kaguru village in Birnin Gwari local government area.

According to Sahara Reporters, a local who escaped the attack said that the gunmen came in several vehicles chanting religious slogans when they carried out the act.

He also said they burnt down several houses in the village.

 

Wike Declares Rivers Has No Land To Give Out To Herdsmen

Governor of Rivers State, Nyeson Ezenwo Wike has declared that Rivers State has no land to give out to aid the creation of cattle colonies.

Nyesom Wike in his declarations at the Government House in Port Harcourt while receiving the D-Source Group, further disclosed that he firmly stands against the idea of the state being controlled by external forces.

He said: “We will not allow our state to be controlled by external  forces.

“We will not be drawn into debates on cattle colony.  We don’t have land for any cattle colony  in Rivers State “.

“Our people should continue to mobilize for the 2019 election because it will not be business as usual where people think that they will use security to rig.  That will not happen”

He said that the APC has done nothing  in Rivers State to merit any vote, adding that the party has destroyed the country.

Governor Wike commended D-Source Connect Group for their commitment to the development of New Rivers.

He assured that  the administration  will always accommodate youths in the development process. The governor added that members  of the group will be considered for appointments.

Earlier, the Coordinator of D-Source Connect Group, Mr Dike Vincent Amadi reiterated the endorsement of the Rivers State Governor by the group for a second term.

He commended the State Governor for the prudent management of resources which has led to an explosion of projects across the state.

Amadi urged the governor  to consider members of the group for appointment  into positions of responsibility.

 

Suspected Herdsmen Set Olu Falae’s Farm Ablaze

Some Suspected herdsmen have set the farm of a former Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Olu Falae, near Akure, the Ondo State capital, on fire.

Reports from the area said the incident happened on Sunday night.

A report by Channels Television quoted the Spokesperson of the Ondo State Police Command, Femi Joseph, as confirming the incident and disclosing that the police had been trying to put out the fire.

“He, however, said that the police could not immediately confirm whether the act was actually committed by herdsmen as no one has been arrested in connection with it and no one was seen at the scene when policemen got there,” the report said.

Our Correspondent reports that herdsmen had attacked Falae’s farm at least twice in the past, sparking public outcry and raising tensions between the Yorubas and Hausa-Fulanis.

 

Herdsmen Attack Pregnant Woman In Ekiti

A woman, said to be from Benue State, has been shot dead in a farm settlement at Orin community in Ido/Osi Local Government Area of Ekiti State.

This is coming barely 24 hours after Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State summoned a peace meeting between the Fulani and Benue people in Ekiti State, where he warned against retaliatory attacks which may result in deaths within the state.

Community sources claimed that the attack which took the life of the woman, was retaliatory, after a Fulani man was murdered in Oke-Ako, recently allegedly by Tivs.

Governor Ayodele Fayose, had on Tuesday, met with representatives of the Fulani and Tiv communities in the state, where he warned against reprisal, which he preached at the meeting.

Fayose had called for peace among the citizenry of the state, whereas the meeting had agreed that more stakeholders would be invited to ensure peace.

But reports from the community claimed that the alleged Fulani attackers had attacked the farm settlement at night and had shot the woman, said to be eight-months pregnant.