Criminal Herders Are Being Tried And Convicted Across Nigeria – Presidency

The Presidency on Monday said “thousands of” herdsmen are being tried and convicted across the country for illegal activities.

President Muhammadu Buhari has faced criticism for taking a soft approach to the herdsmen crisis based on ethnic affiliations.

Most herdsmen are Fulani, the same ethnicity as the President.

But speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu said there is no substance to such criticism.

“I hope that the police will take responsibility and publish the full list of Fulani herders who are undergoing trial in various states, particularly in Benue State,” Mr. Shehu said. “Trials are going on, convictions are being made and the President cannot be complicit in the kind of things that are being said of him.”

READ ALSO: Buhari Needs To Come Out And Condemn Herdsmen Violence – Abaribe

Mr. Shehu also said the President is fully aware of the country’s security situation and is working to ensure the safety of lives and properties.

“The President is more than concerned about the ongoing situation,” he said “And he is fully conscious of the fact that it is the responsibility of his government to work with all Nigerians to secure lives and stop the ongoing crises, whether they are kidnapping or ethnic hatred and violence. He condemns it.

“It is for community leaders – local, traditional, and elected – to work with the President.

“The country’s military, as we speak, is overstretched because they are active in at least 34 of the 36 states of the federation, including the FCT.

“The Air Force, the police, they are recruiting, day and night; people are being trained in special operations and are being sent to the forest.”

‘Condemn Violent Herdsmen’

Earlier on the show, Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe had accused the President of treating criminal Fulani herdsmen with kid gloves.

“The President needs to come out and say I do not support these types of actions, these criminal elements,” Abaribe said. “He has to come out and everybody sees that he is owning this problem.”

But “We have never heard it,” he added. “Where did the President ever say that these criminal herdsmen will never be tolerated in this country? What we’ve heard from 2016 all the way down is ‘live in peace with your neighbour’ and ‘try to accommodate your countrymen’ and stuff of that nature.

“And that now enables those who are committing these crimes, that there is no punishment.

“And when you see the rest of the country, eruptions here and there, all targetted at a particular segment of people, you should be very worried. And why you should be very worried is, what is it that gives these people the impetus to continue to commit these crimes?”

Abaribe is ‘Uncharitable’

Mr. Shehu disagreed that the President has not condemned the herdsmen’s violence.

“When Femi Adesina or myself speak for the President, people should accept that it is the President that is speaking,” he said.

“For this President, it is the actions that should speak for him. He is not a showman. He doesn’t have to be there.

“And let’s be understood, we are not trying to personalise anything. Senator Abaribe dwelt a lot, attacking President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that he has not, even at a rhetorical level, spoken against this kind of violence.

“That is most uncharitable. This country has problems. It requires the involvement of everyone. All hands must be on deck.”

Buhari Needs To Come Out And Condemn Herdsmen Violence – Abaribe

 

Senate Minority Leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe on Monday faulted President Muhammadu Buhari’s handling of the nation’s herdsmen crisis.

Speaking on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Abaribe suggested that the President’s posture appeared to give fuel to the activities of these violent herdsmen.

“The President needs to come out and say I do not support these types of actions, these criminal elements,” Abaribe said. “He has to come out and everybody sees that he is owning this problem.”

But “We have never heard it,” he added. “Where did the President ever say that these criminal herdsmen will never be tolerated in this country? What we’ve heard from 2016 all the way down is ‘live in peace with your neighbour’ and ‘try to accommodate your countrymen’ and stuff of that nature.

“And that now enables those who are committing these crimes, that there is no punishment.

“And when you see the rest of the country, eruptions here and there, all targetted at a particular segment of people, you should be very worried. And why you should be very worried is, what is it that gives these people the impetus to continue to commit these crimes?”

Abaribe is ‘Uncharitable’

Responding to Abaribe, presidential spokesman Garba Shehu described his comments as “uncharitable.”

He stressed that the President, through his spokespersons, has condemned such violent activities.

“Senator Abaribe dwelt a lot, attacking President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that he has not, even at a rhetorical level, spoken against this kind of violence,” Sheu said. “That is most uncharitable.

“When Femi Adesina or myself speak for the President, people should accept that it is the President that is speaking.

“For this President, it is the actions that should speak for him. He is not a showman. He doesn’t have to be there.”

Quit Notice: Ogun Youths Give Seven-Day Ultimatum To Killer Herdsmen

A map of Ogun, a state in south-west Nigeria.

 

Youths in Yewa North Local Government Area of Ogun State under the aegis of Yewa-North Patriotic Forum have issued a seven-day ultimatum to suspected killer herdsmen in Yewa-North Local Government Area to vacate the state.

The youths gave the ultimatum on Friday, in a statement signed by the President of the group, Sanni Omobolaji, 24 hours after suspected Fulani herdsmen allegedly killed five persons in Owode-Ketu, Egua in that council area.

Omobolaji, in the statement, said villagers have been living in fear and pains of the incessant killings which according to him, could only be traced to the herders.

Some killer-herdsmen had allegedly invaded Owode Ketu community and Egua on Thursday around 5:00 am and killed about five persons whose dead bodies were reportedly found in nearby bushes and in the Egua River.

“As responsible young people in Yewa-North, we have tried to ensure that our coexistence works, even when we are the legitimate owners of Yewa land but today’s gruesome killing of five of our people has shown that killer herdsmen can only live in their own world,” the statement read in part.

The youths called on the state government to immediately deploy a coalition of security agencies to seal off borders with neighbouring countries either through the bushes or through designated routes.

“We also use this medium to give a seven days ultimatum within which all killer herdsmen must vacate our local government or face the full anger of grieving people.

“If this ultimatum is taken with levity, we shall stop at nothing in ensuring that all unknown herdsmen are flushed out of our Local Government at the expiration of the seven days ultimatum”.

“We are fully ready to take our destiny in our own hands and not wait till the criminal herdsmen successfully wipe off all our promising children and caring parents.”

“Now is the best time to dissolve the marriage of inconvenience between our people in Yewa-North local government and the killer herdsmen as we cannot condone these criminals beyond seven days in our domain.”

Killer Herdsmen: Anyone Caught With Illegal Arms Should Be Tried, says Presidency

 

President Muhammadu Buhari’s position on the issue of killer herdsmen is that anyone caught with illegal arms should be arrested and tried, spokesman Femi Adesina said on Tuesday.

Mr. Adesina, who made an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today, was reacting to recent comments made by Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom.

Mr. Ortom had said the President was silent over the issue of armed herdsmen causing havoc across the country.

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“If the Governor would say he hasn’t heard the President speak on that matter, that’s what he should make clear; it’s not that the President hasn’t spoken,” Mr. Adesina said.

“Because the number of times the President has spoken on that issue . . . and his position has always been the same: anybody, whoever he is, that carries arms unlawfully should be arrested and prosecuted. The President has said it countless times.”

However, when asked how many herdsmen have been arrested in recent times, Mr. Adesina said “I don’t have that figure at my fingertips . . . but I know that a lot of people are awaiting trial.”

Ranching as solution?

Clashes between farmers and herdsmen have escalated this year, especially in the southwest where quit notices were delivered to people of Fulani extraction.

Kano State Governor, Umar Ganduje, recently suggested that ranching was the solution to the phenomenon of herdsmen moving across the country with cattle.

Reacting to the Governor’s suggestion, Mr Adesina said all suggestions should be discussed.

He also pointed to the Federal Government’s Ruga program, which was rejected by some states.

“Nigeria is a peculiar country where the federal government has no land,” he said. And if states say they have no land for ranches, then another solution has to be found.

“So we need to discuss these things and appraise them critically until we can get to what we can call ‘the’ solution.”

 

Killings: FG To Rehabilitate Destroyed Communities With N10bn

 

The Federal Government has approved a rehabilitation fund of N10bn for victims of killer herdsmen attacks in Benue, Nasarawa and Taraba states, as part of efforts to resettle thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made this known on Tuesday during a visit to IDP camps in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

 

He told over 34,000 IDPs who are taking refuge at the Abagana camp that the government is doing everything possible to ensure they are immediately resettled in their ancestral homes.

Professor Osinbajo who also promised to supervise the rehabilitation process, announced a three-point solution of providing adequate security for the communities, rebuilding destroyed homes and restoring farmlands currently being occupied by invading herdsmen to enable food production.

Several states have witnessed various attacks by the killer herdsmen since the beginning of the year with Benue state being one of the worst hit.

In April, the state government declared that the state was under a siege, following another attack on a church in which several persons were killed.

Subsequently, the governor, Samuel Ortom, dragged the leadership of the Miyetti Allah group before the State High Court, Markurdi, on the allegations of murder and widespread violence across 14 out of the 23 local councils of the state.

But the group has maintained that it has no involvement in the killings.

Several groups have, however, attributed the killings to the implementation of the anti-grazing law which bans open-grazing of cattle in the state.

But some others believe the anti-grazing law must not be compromised as it has nothing to do with the killings.

The Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayodele Fayose had said that contrary to the belief in some quarters that Law was responsible for the killings, the Federal Government’s handling of security matters was to blame.

Obaseki Orders Arrest Of Suspected ‘Killer Herdsmen’

A herd of cattle to illustrate the story.

 

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has ordered the arrest of armed herdsmen allegedly responsible for the death of three persons in the state.

The governor said the herdsmen allegedly behind the attack must be apprehended within seven days.

The attack which was recently carried out in Ugboha, Esan South East Local Government Area of the state led to the death of three persons including two adults and a minor.

Commissioner of Police in the state, Johnson Kokumo confirmed the attack and said it was indeed perpetrated by suspected herdsmen and noting that it wasn’t a farmers-herdsmen clash as wrongly perceived.

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Governor Obaseki in a statement on Saturday condemned the killings which he said contravenes the government’s directive that cattle herders should not graze in Edo State at night.

He directed a committee made up of the police, officials of the State Security Service and other security agencies to work with members of the association of cattle dealers and people who have information to fish them out the attackers within the stipulated period.

He condoled with the families of the victims and pledged commitment to the safety and security of residents in the state.