• Herdsmen sack Kaduna villages, kill 7, allegedly invade Ondo community
Fred Itua, Abuja; Linus Oota, Lafia; Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
In Nasarawa State, yesterday, President Muhammadu Buhari, directed security agencies to arrest and prosecute suspected herdsmen and other bandits found with illegal arms.
The president announced this in Lafia, the state capital, yesterday, during a one-day official visit.
During the visit, the president commissioned projects executed by Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura.
Said the president: “The Federal Government is working day and night to ensure peace and stability returns…We have deployed additional resources to all affected areas, to maintain law and order. The attacks by suspected herdsmen and other bandits will not be tolerated. I appeal to all Nigerians to restrain from further reprisals…the security agencies have being given instructions to arrest and prosecute any and all persons found with illegal arms
“I like to, once again, express my condolence and sympathy to all the affected victims of these barbaric acts” He said
He assured the North Central and all Nigerians that his administration is working day and night to secure lives and properties.
The president, who described his presence in Nasarawa as home-coming, said the people have always been the change movement.
“Since the early days of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) through the All Progressive Congress (APC). In 2011, the people of Nasarawa state decided to vote for change and in 2015, they voted for continuity
“I’m glad to reiterate governor Al-Makura’s statement that Nasarawa is my political home, since his inauguration in May 2011, the occasion which I attended personally, I have being following the trend of events in the state and the report which I see is the execution of many projects…”
Speaking earlier, Al-Makura said his administration embarked on road construction (rural, urban and international city) network in the state.
Meanwhile, bandits, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, have allegedly sacked villages in a local government area in Kaduna State.
Similarly, about seven people have been killed in the two local government areas of the state, allegedly by herdsmen.
Senator Shehu Sani, who represents Kaduna Central in the upper legislative chamber, said the killings go on everyday while security agencies are yet to deploy troops to the area.
Sani disclosed this on the floor of the Senate, yesterday, when he raised a point of order on the matter.
“Farmers, nowadays, do not go their farms anymore. Many of the citizens who reside in that local government are now in the state capital. Of concern is the fact that killings and abductions are daily affairs. It is one issue that has not been able to get national attention.
“I have an issue in a local government in one of my constituency. It is called Birnin Gwari Local Government. This local government borders on the states of Zamfara, Kebbi and Niger. This local government in the last two to three years has been under siege of armed herdsmen and bandits.
“Bandits have made life intolerable for the people of that part of the state. Many villages in this local government have been sacked.
“Just few days ago, about seven persons were killed and, continually, the killings have been so on a daily basis, such that even the media does not take much time to give it space on the pages of their newspapers. I am deeply concerned that government is losing the grip; that we cannot guarantee the safety of lives and properties in this country. I think we have lost the essence of our being in government.”
Senate has, however, urged the Federal Government to confront security challenges affecting the country.
Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided at yesterday’s plenary, recalled how Senator Kabiru Marafa from Zamfara State raised a similar issue a fortnight ago, in the chamber.
“For two to three weeks running, senator Marafa has been raising this issue regarding Zamfara and it appears to me that the same forest he is talking about extends all the way to Kaduna, Niger and Kebbi states. So, I think it is time for the federal government to do something about it.
“As parliamentarians and representatives of the people, it is our responsibility to continuously call the attention of government to some of these things. The issue of the monopoly of force should be that of state, but today, the non-state actors have now taken over the issue of violence which is very regrettable,” Ekweremadu said.
In a related development, suspected Fulani herdsmen allegedly invaded the sleepy town of Akunnu-Akoko, in Akoko North East Local Government Area of Ondo State.
This development reportedly caused anxiety and tension in the town, as residents are reportedly afraid of the consequences of herdsmen invasion of the community.
This was even as youths of the town have protested against the action of the herdsmen and have called on them to relocate.
Chairman, Akunu Akoko Progressive Union, Mr Tunde Bayode said upon interrogation, the Fulani men confessed that they left Iseyin, in Oyo State, for Akunu, following invitation from one of them, identified as Doya Bello, who lives in Akunu-Akoko.
Bayode condemned the development and said the people now live in fear as they are no longer feel secure with the herdsmen in their midst.
Chairman of Akoko North East Local Government Area, Mr Rafiu Eniayewu who said he moved round the town, in company with security agents, urged the people to remain calm and not to take laws into their hands.
The Police Area Commander, Mr AbdulRauf Abdulrazak, said the police are on top of the situation and that they are closely monitoring activities of Fulani herdsmen in the town.