When Will Herdsmen Stop Killings?
Nigeria News take a look at the incessant killings of innocent people by herdsmen across the country.
In the last one week, about 40 residents of Plateau State have been allegedly killed by herdsmen. Most of whom were Christians in a renewed feud between the farmers and the nomadic cattle keepers.
It is a clash successive governments of the state have failed to end. Almost every year, the residents clash with the herdsmen over a land dispute.
Across the country, herdsmen now carry guns and there is little the government has done to curb this illegality.
In the last two years of the present administration, herdsmen had inflicted pains on many families and wreaked havoc on many communities.
In Benue, houses were razed, residents massacred by the nomadic herdsmen in the guise of grazing their cattle.
In Kaduna State, hundreds of residents from Southern Kaduna were killed by the herdsmen while churches were razed by fire but with no recourse by the government to compensate the victims or prosecute the killers.
In Ondo, the herdsmen destroyed crops, including the farm of the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Chief Olu Falae.
The nomadic herdsmen went to the extent of kidnapping the Akure chief. They drove him to an unknown destination, punished the septuagenarian without food and water and later released him after he had paid N5 million ransom.
In Ekiti state, the herdsmen invaded a peaceful community where they killed four people, including a village head. Though those who abducted Falae were arrested, the Janjaweed that raped a 70-year-old woman in Edo were nowhere to be found.
Not only did the herdsmen kill, they have been involved in various incidents of sexual violence against women and abduction of innocent residents for ransom.
To them, there should be no boundary when it comes to grazing as they move from the north to the south and from the west to east wreaking havoc and killing residents to feed their cattle.
The Federal Government’s idea of resolving the herdsmen excesses is by promulgating the grazing law, which will make it legal for cattle to graze anywhere in the country.
Some state governments have vehemently kicked against this. They recommend that the Federal Government create ranches for herdsmen to take care of their cattle.
In Botswana, the population of cattle is about 3.6 million while that of the human being is 1.8, yet there is no report of a clash between herdsmen and residents in the country, which is regarded as the largest producer of meat in Africa.
When the herdsmen invaded Plateau again late last week, the Nigerian Army under the Operation Safe Haven was apathetic until scores were killed in cold blood.
The residents alleged that the troops of the Operation Safe Haven actually connived with the herdsmen to kill innocent people in Plateau state.
But the Nigerian Army had contested the allegation, adding that its troops never connived with herdsmen to kill residents.
As at yesterday, the Nigerian Airforce had deployed troops in plateau to stem the herdsmen incursion into the communities.