Nigeria News

Herdsmen: Anger In Their Faces, Weapons In Their Hands

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Nigeria News takes a look at the continuous movements of herdsmen towards the southwest States.

Our Chief Security Officer (CSO) has no formal training. I doubt if he can shoot a gun but he has occupied that position since I came to the community.

His biceps and height must have won him that position and because he is brave to challenge an intruder, we have not got alternative for him.

Sometimes he abuses his position but the few among us who can question him do it with a lot of caution. He is a Yoruba man but speaks more than one language.

Many of his tenants are northerners. He relates well with these set of Nigerians, Hausa, Fulani, Kanuri.

But on this day, the CSO could not alone combat the nomadic Fulani Herdsmen that invaded the community in the middle of the night.

Noise rented the air, residents ran out of their homes to seek solace in the bush. The Herdsmen had come with their cows. “They had burgled some houses. They had raped our women. Oh, they had killed and maimed,” the residents cried for help.

Pandemonium, the CSO succeeded in disarming the leader of the herdsmen. The injured landlords were rushed to the hospital, the residents eventually overpowered the marauders.

They chained them down and called the police at the dawn. The case eventually died at the police station.

This attack happened in a community in Ogun State, Southwest Nigeria about seven years ago. The Herdsmen crisis had not escalated to this level.

Though there were various Herdsmen attacks then that were not reported.

So last week Saturday when the CSO raised the alarm again of Herdsmen invasion, the residents were more battle ready.

The News about Herdsmen has become dreaded that no community wants to take any chance again.

But on getting to the scene, the herdsmen were nowhere to be found except their cattle.

Scores of cattle had already invaded one of the president’s compound. They had eaten up his garden and crops.

Another 14 cows were sitting in front of one of the beautiful houses in the community. They had defecated at the place.

Everywhere was smelling. The residents were waiting to meet the cattle owners. A call was put to the police but the DPO said no officer was around to attend to our plight because all the cops had been redeployed due to the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Ogun State.

After about two hours, some herdsmen strolled into the community. They looked ferocious with anger written boldly on their faces.

Weapons in their hands, they were battle ready. The CSO threw the first question in Hausa language, which they understood.

The language was like a soothing balm, it calmed their anger, even though they were the invader, they had destroyed crops and homes.

“The cattle strayed, we have been looking for them,” they told the CSO in Hausa language.

Hmmmm, about 40 cows strayed to a community and the herdsmen did not notice. This is a naked lie, I concluded instantly.

But what provoked me was that the herdsmen did not show any sign of remorse or guilt except that they wanted their cows released to them regardless of the intensity of what they had damaged. Any contrary opinion could lead to a communal clash.

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