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Herdsmen may have links to Boko Haram, says Buratai


Chief of Army Staff, Gen. T. Y. Buratai

Chief of Army Staff, Gen. T. Y. Buratai

• Benue says attacks, plot to carve out territory, makes case for ranches
• Rep wants states to control cattle grazing, Anambra compensates victims of clash

Chief of Army-Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai yesterday admitted that the suspected Fulani herdsmen believed to be responsible for brutish attacks on some communities in the country may have affiliation with the Book Haram terrorists.

Buratai, who spoke in Abeokuta, during a courtesy call on the Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun at his Oke-Mosan, office, revealed that he had ordered that a thorough investigation be conducted to establish this possible link.

Buratai said one might not be too far from the fact that some of these herdsmen that are attacking communities across the country may have some affiliation with the Boko Haram terrorists.

The Army chief pleaded, “Let’s report quickly, movement of suspicious persons carrying arms especially. If you suspect any individual within your community, we should be able to report immediately.”

In a related development, Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom yesterday alleged a plot by the herdsmen, with their foreign collaborators, to establish a caliphate in the state.

The governor, who was represented by Deputy Governor Benson Abonu at a public hearing organised by the House of Representatives Committee Police Affairs said a report has already been made to the relevant security agencies on the matter.

“They want to weaken the fabric of Benue State in such a way that when they come, there won’t be any resistance,” he alleged.

In another event, Governor Ortom yesterday (today) urged the 22 All Progressives Congress, APC, governors, who paid him a sympathy visit to impress on the Federal Government to approve establishment of ranches so that nomads would stop killing his people.

Ortom, who made the appeal while receiving the Imo State Governor and Chairman of the Progressive APC governors’ forum, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, and three other governors, on behalf of the 22 governors over the invasion of the state by herdsmen, said the destruction of lives and property has taken the state backwards for 25 years.

In Anambra State, Governor Willie Obiano yesterday supervised monetary compensation to Fulani herdsmen and the people of Umumbo, an agrarian community in Ayamelum Local Government Council over losses incurred by both parties during a recent conflict.

The committee set up by the governor on the crisis had arrived at the decision that the Fulani herdsmen pay the sum of N500, 000 each for two farmers that lost their lives in the clashes and N150, 000 for a casualty, who sustained machete cuts.

Also, the farmers paid the sum of N500, 000 each for two Fulani herdsmen that also died in the clash and another N4.5m for 97 cows that were slaughtered in the conflict.

Proffering solution to the unending crises between herdsmen and their host communities, a Rep, Timothy Golu, representing Pankshin/ Kanke/ Kanam, Plateau State (PDP), yesterday advised that states would better handle all matters relating to rearing and grazing of cattle and designate routes and locations for cattle activities.

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