Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Two members of the Benue Livestock Guards were on Monday reportedly killed by suspected herdsmen near Ayilamo Village in Logo Local Government area of Benue State.
According to the Commander of the Livestock Guards, Linus Zaki, the deceased officers were among those who had gone to impound some cattle that were found openly grazing in the area in flagrant disobedience to the anti open grazing law of the state.
Zaki, in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday evening, said the attack on his men by the herders was unprovoked and condemnable.
He stated further that two young herders who were arrested with the impounded cattle had been handed over to the police.
“I can confirm that herdsmen attacked and killed two of our men near Ayilamo in Logo local government area of Benue State.
‘Yesterday being the 6th of July, 2020, information was received that herders had brought in cattle and were openly grazing in Logo. Some of the Guards moved to the said location and met some young herders with cows destroying people’s farms.
“The Guards impounded the cows and were taking the animals and the herders with them according to the law when they were attacked by armed herdsmen militia and two of the Guards Aondohemba and Gbaior were shot and killed on the spot by the armed herders.
“This happened before Agro Rangers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who were alerted could get to the scene of the incident.
“As a law abiding organization, we have handed the arrested young herders whose (names are Shaibu Hussaini and Kadiri Zakari) to police for prosecution.
The Guards Commander who posited that the attack on his men was unprovoked and stands condemned explained that the Benue State Livestock Guards do not carry arms.
“Our job is to protect the investments of both farmers and livestock owners. That is the mandate the Benue State Government has given to us through the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017.
Therefore, anyone who takes up arms against us is a lawless group.
“While we will not seek violent revenge, the long arms of the law will certainly catch up with those who killed two of our men in Logo,” Zaki stated.