From Rose Ejembi Makurdi
The Benue State livestock guards yesterday paraded two cattle rustlers and an under-aged herdsman before newsmen in Makurdi.
Speaking during the parade, Security Adviser to the Governor, Col. Paul Hemba (rtd), said the cattle rustler, Atsagba Ukua, and his son were arrested in Gbajimba, Guma Local Government Area with six cattle.
According to Hemba, the father and son were on their way to the cattle market in Makurdi to sell the animals when officials of the state livestock guards apprehended them.
“In the last few days, the livestock guards arrested a young man with his son and six rustled cows. When our men accosted him, he claimed that the cattle were arrested from his farm.
“He said some cattle came and destroyed his farm and he was taking them to the cattle market for sale. We didn’t take his claim to be authentic, so, we are treating him as a cattle rustler. He will be handed over to the police for prosecution.
“That is why Gov Samuel Ortom earlier advocated for ranching because if cattle are ranched, rustling and banditry would be eliminated. Ranching is even in the best interest of the herders.
“Thank God that the whole country is coming to agree with Gov Ortom that ranching remains the best global practices,” the security adviser said.
Speaking further, Hemba said an under-aged herder, Quackman Yayi, was arrested for grazing 60 cattle openly around Yelwata in Guma local government.
“The little boy was arrested for flouting the Open Grazing Prohibition Law. He is underaged. He was alone in the bush grazing 60 cattle and is exposed to all kinds of hazards. He stands no chance to confront rustlers. He should be in school or under the care of his parents but he is not.”
On his part, Yayi who confessed to the crime told newsmen that the cattle belonged to one Alhaji Yakubu.