Again, troops arrest, parade armed herder in Benue State
The troops of 72 Special Forces Battalion, Nigeria Army, Makurdi have again arrested and paraded an herdsman, Idi Gemu, in possession of an AK 47 rifle in Benue State.
During the parading yesterday in Makurdi, the Commanding Officer, Lt.-Col. Suleiman Mohammad, said the suspect was arrested on Tuesday during a surveillance operation at Adagu in Guma local council area with AK 47 riffle.
He pledged that the military was not resting on its oars in securing lives and property statewide.
According to him, “troops of the battalion had earlier last week arrested three herdsmen at Tormatar also in Guma, and the present arrest was as a result of increased tempo of our operations.”
He continued: “After that arrest, we increased the tempo of our operations and yesterday (Tuesday), we arrested this herdsman that you (newsmen) just spoke with. We are doing everything possible to make sure that lives and property of the people are safeguarded and we are also reiterating the fact that we also need adequate information to enable us carry out our operations successfully.”
The commandant pointed out that there was connection between the three persons earlier arrested and the current suspect, stressing that initial inquiries revealed so.
“There is a connection because the initial investigations are also pointing to the same direction. The sponsors are actually the same people. So, there is a connection between this arrest and the previous one,” he stated.
But when asked who he suspected to be the sponsors of the herdsmen, Mohammad responded: “I can’t answer that for now.”
However, the suspect, Gemu, who spoke in Hausa, revealed that he came from Adudu in Nasarawa State to search for his missing sheep when he was arrested by the soldiers.
He continued: “The gun is not my own. It belongs to a friend I spent the night with after I found my sheep among my tribal men (Fulani herdsmen) staying in Benue.
“When I found the sheep, it was already late. So, I spent the night with them. I was still sleeping when the soldiers came but when I woke up, my friend ran away leaving his gun behind with me.”
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