The controversy around herdsmen attacking innocent people has become a serious discussion. Some Nigerians can no longer travel without the fear of attack from these criminal elements. Travelers, farmers, and homes of some Nigerians are being invaded by these criminal herders who no longer have respect for human life.
The criminal herders have claimed the lives of many innocent Nigerians. Social media is awash on a daily basis with the news of lives lost in the hands of these criminal elements.
A court in Ekiti state was said to have Sentenced a herder identified as Muhammadu Abubakar to life imprisonment. Muhammadu Abubakar was sentenced by an Ekiti State High Court sitting in Ado Ekiti on Tuesday for attempted murder.
According to the court, Muhammadu was tried and found guilty on two counts of attempted murder and unlawful possession of firearms.
Part of the Charge read: “On April 9, 2019, at Aba Cotonou, Omu Ekiti, in the Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, the defendant did attempt to murder one Chief Samuel Amaa and others. Found in his possession were a gun and cartridges on the same day.”
Meanwhile, the police prosecutor, Taiwo Ajibulu, however, said the offenses were contrary to and punishable under Section 320 of the Criminal Code Law, Cap. C16 Laws of Ekiti State, 2012, and Section 3 (1) of the Robbery and Firearms (Special Provision) Act, Cap.R11, Vol.14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
And the prosecutor called four witnesses. A witness who gave his testimony before the court said: “The defendant was challenged while grazing on the cassava farm; he was angry for being questioned. He pulled out his gun and fired at the people who challenged him, but they were fortunate it (the bullet) missed them.
“He was later overpowered by residents while trying to escape, following which he was handed over to the police.”
Let’s not forget so quickly in August, Armed herdsmen were said to have chased farmers and taken over their farmlands at Obiaruku, Ubuntu, and other communities in Ukwuani Local Government Area, Delta State, where they rooted out cassava, yam, corn and other crops cultivated by farmers to feed their cattle.
The herdsmen were said to have killed some of their victims and r*ped women have thrown the communities into hunger, as farmers, mostly women, have abandoned their farms for fear of losing their lives.
The Onotuku-General of Obiaruku, High Chief Dickson Odogwu who’s reacting to the invasion said: “For over one month now, nobody can go to the farm because of the problem of herdsmen grazing their cattle in our bush.
“Even if they go to the farm, the women will be r*ped. Many boys were tied to the trees and shot and inflicted with cutlass injuries.
“I have reported the matter to the Divisional Police Officer and they have been doing a very good job for us.”
… PRESIDENT BUHARI TALKS TOUGH
Following the herders and farmers clash, the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari has warned those behind the attack.
This attack was said to have led to the loss of lives. The report has it that the casualty figure was not contained in the Friday statement by President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, Garba Shehu.
Meanwhile, Garba Shehu however, said the president “warned herdsmen and communities to stop taking the law into their hands by resorting to violence at every provocation.”
Part of the statement from Garba Shehu read: President Buhari warned herdsmen and communities to stop taking the law into their hands by resorting to violence at every provocation, adding that the herdsmen returning from the South due to the rainy season must respect the boundaries of farmers and villagers, while the communities must refrain from attacking herdsmen.
The president commiserated with families that lost loved ones in the attacks from herdsmen, assuring the state that the security structure will be further strengthened to avoid unnecessary violence between herdsmen and communities.”
… IT’S UNJUST TO BLAME ME
In June 2018, following the incessant killings in the country, President Muhammadu Buhari said it’s unjust to blame him.
According to a publication by one of the international media ‘CNN’ reported after the attack on Plateau Communities, the president visited Jos where the attacks happened and released a statement saying he should not be blamed for not talking to the herdsmen because he “looks like one of them.
”The present herder, I am told, carries AK47 and people are even blaming me for not talking to them because maybe (they say) I look like one of them. There is some injustice in these aspersions.”
Garba Shehu further appealed to Nigerians to avoid inflammatory utterances that could endanger peace or promote conflicts. The President added: “I will continue to pressurize members of the law enforcement agencies directly under me by the constitution as the Commander-in-Chief.