Fulani herdsman apprehended by BSCVG in Benue

Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, BSCVG, have caught a Fulani herdsman armed with a pistol in Makurdi, the capital city of Benue.

The herder, who was armed with a locally made pistol, was apprehended after trespassing on farmland with his cattle in Agboghol community, located behind the Modern Market in the suburban area of Makurdi.

His arrest follows the recent killing of James Okoh, commander of the agro ranger unit of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, by armed herdsmen in Shaapera community, Gwer West area of Benue.

Speaking to reporters in Makurdi, Mr. Joseph Har, the Special Adviser on Security and Internal Affairs to the governor, disclosed that the herder violated the anti-open grazing law by encroaching on farmlands for grazing.

Har commended the community for not resorting to violent actions and assured that the suspect would be handed over to the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice and Public Order, Barr Felix Mnyim, for prosecution in accordance with the law.

Addressing the press conference, Har narrated, “A distress call was received from the Agboghol community behind the Modern Market, reporting herders grazing on their land. When locals approached the herders to stop, one of them pulled out a gun. Fortunately, the community was able to overpower and capture him.”

“The people acted responsibly by handing him over to the authorities for due process. It is crucial that the law takes its due course in such instances of armed herders, and we will ensure proper prosecution through the Attorney General,” he added.

Commander Capt Ayuma Ajobi (rtd) of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards emphasized the importance of community vigilance and cooperation, as demonstrated by the swift action taken by an informant leading to the suspect’s arrest.

Following preliminary investigations, the suspect will be transferred to the relevant authorities for further actions.

The arrested herder, speaking through an interpreter, claimed that the pistol belonged to his brother, who mistakenly wandered into the community’s farmland. He alleged that the firearm was acquired from someone who planned to provide instructions on its usage.

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