•Nigerians protest in London over clashes
A former minister of state for Education in late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s administration, Prof. Jerry Agada, has raised the alarm that herdsmen and cows have invaded Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.
Agada, who spoke at a Stakeholders’ Meeting held at Government House, Makurdi, yesterday, said Fulani herdsmen had threatened to invade Agatu communities with their cows, regardless of the state’s anti-open grazing law.
“Let me give the leaders and government of the state some useful information. A man from Agatu called me on Saturday, that Fulani herdsmen had threatened to invade their communities with their cows. As I was coming here this morning (yesterday), the man called me on phone that the herdsmen have carried out their threat, with thousands of cows that have invaded Agatu communities.”
He further quoted his informant as saying that “tension has heightened in Agatu with the influx of cows.”
Meanwhile, Nigerians resident in the United Kingdom have staged a protest at Trafalgar Square, in London, over the insecurity and perennial clashes between herdsmen and farmers, particularly in Benue State.
The protest was convened by Mutual Union of Tivs in the UK, with support from the Nigerian community in the UK.
The protest proceeded to the Nigerian High Commission and later, to the UK Prime Minister’s office, 10, Downing Street. Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation Americas (NIDOA) urged the federal government to check the activities of armed herdsmen in Nigeria, saying they pose a security threat to the country.
NIDOA, in a statement by Patience Key, its chairperson, and George Nwogu, public relations director of the Board of Trustees, condemned what they termed the “needless and mindless killings of innocent Nigerians by armed herdsmen.
“It is appalling that, in spite of the country’s strict gun control laws, persons purported to be herdsmen carry and use military-style assault weapons openly with impunity.”
The group called for efforts to regulate open cattle grazing to modern standards which utilise ranches, as it is done in other countries and ensure respect for the dignity of human lives and property.