June 17, 2024
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Benue State has decried the insecurity bedeviling the state, alleging that both herders and farmers are presently under siege of strange gunmen.
State Chairman of MACBAN, Mohammed Risku, in an interview with journalists in Makurdi, the state capital, said members of his association were worried that the unknown killers, apart from murdering farmers in the local communities, are as well attacking them, their children and animals.
Risku said the killers are usually dressed in a particular strange uniform whenever attacking people in Benue and Nasarawa states.
He said within this year alone, 31 people from the herders community, including women and children, have been killed, stressing that it had become impossible to know the true identities of the killers.
“Whenever these unknown people entered the communities, they would attacked our people, kill them, kill our cows and even kill local farmers too. We have been reporting these strange occurrences to the joint military operations covering Benue and Nasarawa States but, no action taken.
“The other day, 11 of our children were killed around Doma/Gwer West border areas. Again, six  herders were killed in Gwer West while riding on bikes by these unknown gunmen. Even at Guma LGA, one herder was attacked and killed, his bike was taken away. All these killings happened in this year 2024. At least we have lost 31 people,” he said.
Risku therefore appealed to the state government to set up of a special joint security committee comprising of local farmers, indigenous herders (MACBAN) and other stakeholders to coordinate the local security at the various  communities faced with incessant attacks and killings in the state in order to nib the trend in the border.
He said if government could establish such a committee that will integrate the local farmers and indigenous herders to be recognised, supervised by government security agencies and state government, the  incessant attacks and killings would be curtailed.
State Secretary of MACBAN, Ibrahim Galma, on his part maintained that the association had long advocated for such committee but that the government was yet to give it an approval.
Galma added that most of the challenges being experienced in the state were as a result of non integration of the herders group, as he further posited that experience had shown from the Guma LGA of the state worst hit by armed invasion that cooperation could nib the trend in the bud.

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