‘Cattle thieves fleeing to Plateau from STF assault’
DEPUTY Inspector-General of Police (DIG) Kakwe Christopher Katso, yesterday said Federal Government’s determination in the North-East and North-West to deal ruthlessly with the cattle rustlers may have started sending the thieves to Plateau State and other parts of the country.
The DIG added that the Special Task Force (STF) has recovered 100 stolen cows.
Meanwhile, due to the recent chlorine gas explosion at the Lamingo Water Treatment Plant, which killed scores of people, Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong has directed industries operating in the state to obey observe minimum safety standards to avoid industrial accidents.
Lalong gave the directive while inaugurating an administrative panel to investigate the chlorine gas leakage at the water treatment plant in Jos.
DIG Katso, who is in charge of the “F” Department of Research and Planning at the Force Headquarters in Abuja, spoke to Area Command Heads, the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs), and other unit heads of the police in the state, while on a visit to Jos where he also met with stakeholders.
The DIG, who was received by the State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Nasiru Oki, told the command that the operation to flush out cattle rustlers in those zones must elicit a proactive operation by the command in Plateau State, to fight against the potential migration of the criminals there.
According to him, “You are aware of the ongoing operation initiated through a collaborative strategy to flush out cattle rustlers in North-East and North-West. What do you expect? Any person dislodged in that axis will head towards your own area.”
Giving a marching order to the command to initiate proactive operations to stop such migration of criminals to Plateau State, Katso said, “You have to deploy your intelligence unit to nose around and identify any potential movement of these criminals to your area. You have to make the place hot and uncomfortable for them.”
The State Commissioner had informed the DIG, who is also in charge of North-Central, that certain parts of Plateau State have become notorious for cattle rustling, and the strife over grazing field and farmland, naming Barkin Ladi and Riyom areas as major spots. But he said the command under his watch has made major gains in tackling the two crises, and has gone extra miles in mopping up illegal arms in the state to curtail the menace of cattle rustling and strife over land.
The STF has recovered 100 cattle with the aid of community leaders in Barkin Ladi and Jos South Local Government Areas of the state.
It was gathered that 47 cows and one sheep were recovered at Tafwan village of Foron district which boarders Barkin Ladi and Riyom local government areas while 53 cattle were recovered around Kamang village in Jos south.
Sector 7 Commander, Col. Charles Ekulide, while handing over the 47 cattle said 59 cows and 39 sheep had been rustled from Ndang farm in Barkin Ladi on the 29th of July saying nine of the cows had returned on their own while efforts are still on to recover the remaining three cows and 38 sheep.
Ekulide said STF officers had recovered the cows with the help of the Fulani community who found the animals abandoned by their rustlers.
Also speaking, Sub Lt. Raphael Ejabena of Sector 5 in Jos south said the STF had received information from Kamang village on the 1st of August that armed rustlers were seen moving with some cattle around the area.
Ejabena said STF personnel had engaged the rustlers in a shootout, which led to the recovery of the cows. He said the cows belonged to a Fulani herdsman, Akawu Musa who thanked the community and the STF for recovering his cattle.
Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Barkin Ladi, Mallam Mohammed Adam and Maianguwa Dan Pam Dusu, the Village Head of Kamang who spoke independently urged other communities to imbibe the goodwill of assisting the STF recover stolen cattle in the interest of peace.