Fulani Now Come Without Cows To Attack And Kill, Benue Livestock Guards Alert Farmers

Fulani Now Come Without Cows To Attack And Kill, Benue Livestock Guards Alert Farmers

By Henry Ibya, Makurdi

Authorities of the Benue Livestock Guards have alerted communities in the state to remain vigilant in order to avoid accidental attacks and killings of more people in their farms and homes in cold blood.

Commandant of the livestock guards in Benue State, Mr. Linus Zaki, who gave the alert during a review of the Guards activities in an exclusive interview with AljazirahNigeria, Thursday, at the headquarters of the organization in Makurdi, said the information would help residents of affected communities avert more casualties as the herders no longer come with cows but basically to kill people at their farms and in homes.

According to Mr. Zaki, the herders have changed their modus operandi, stressing that they no longer come with their cows but carry out attacks mainly at soft targets points with the aim to kill Benue people and take over land.

The livestock guards commandant denied further that the Fulani killings in Benue were as a result of the arrest and prosecution of some  Fulani men contravening the anti open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law or the  inpounding of cows, contrally to insinuations in some quarters pointing out that what the Fulani wanted was to frustrate the law to make sure that no body respect it in order to take over the land from the natives unmolested. 

He further revealed that the Fulani people were either ready to stop the killings, go back to their places or willing to respect the law’s of the land establishing the anti open grazing prohibition and ranches in the state stressing that they were not either attacking the people because their cows were being inpounded by the livestock guards but insisted that the aim was to attack, kill, as well as displace the people to instill fear in those that would escape unhurt but never to come back again to those communities.

” As you can see, how many times have the guards made arrest in Mbalagh, Mbadwem? How many times?, Yet the Fulanis are still attacking. In my own village now,as I speak there is no single person there, yet they are still attacking, meaning they simply do not want to respect the law, however,the law has come to stay” the Benue Livestock Guards commandant further insisted.

Zaki who lamented that lack of weapons has hampered the effective operation in the cause of implementing the anti open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law in the state,  disclosed that in  the past few weeks, many people within some of the affected communities including about 5 members of his personnel had lost their lives and advised that farmers must go to their farms in groups as well as learn to be at alert during night hours.

He also denied allegations in some quarters that cow’s inpounded by men of the livestock guards were normally sold out by his men and monies put to personal use, discribing such allegations as not only baseless but deliberate falsehood emanating from enemies of the organization and the Government.

He explained that  whenever cows were inpounded, they will be kept in custody for owners to come and pay a fine before the cow’s would be released and such monies paid into Government coffers,pointing out that after seven days, cows whose owners fail to turn up for collection are handed over to the police for such owners to face prosecution.

The commandant who said establishment of the livestock guards was only to help the Benue State Government impliment the anti open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law which has been viewed as the only solution to the farmers and herders crises appealed to Fulani herdsmen to respect the law and embrace ranching for peace to reign between them and the farmers.

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