A gun-wielding Fulani herdsman has been arrested by the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, BSCVG, in Makurdi, the state capital.

The arrested armed herder was found in possession of a locally fabricated pistol.

He was arrested after he encroached on farmland with his cattle in Agboghol community, behind Modern Market, a sub-urban area of Makurdi.

His arrest is coming a few days after the commander of agro ranger of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, James Okoh, was killed in Shaapera community during operation by armed herdsmen in Gwer West of the state.

Parading the suspect before newsmen in Makurdi, the Special Adviser on Security and Internal Affairs to the governor, Mr Joseph Har, said the suspect has committed an act which violates the anti-open grazing law, having encroached on people’s farm to graze.

Har, who thanked the people for not resorting to self-help, 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.

Har said, “I got a distress call from Agboghol community behind Modern market by the River bank where the people farm there, that herders came to graze on their land and in the cause of trying to ask them to stop grazing one of them (a herder), drew out a gun, luckily they overpowered and apprehended him.

“Immediately, I deployed my PA who happens to come from that axis with men of the Volunteer Guards to the place where he (suspect) was apprehended with a locally made pistol as you can see here.

“The one that interests me most is the level of reasoning of those locals to get a herder with arms and they didn’t kill him, but apprehended him and handed over to the government.

“We want to officially present same according to law to the Attorney General of the state who will follow it up, because experience has shown us that we got similar issues like this with evidence, handed them over officially to the police, the police handed them over to the court, only God knows how they got bailed.

“So this time, we want the Attorney General to be involved and make a public prosecution, because if herders are caught with arms as it is now, then the law should take its cause, not taking laws into our hands.”

The Commander of Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, Capt Ayuma Ajobi, (rtd), stated that what just happened was a demonstration of their motto, “when you see something, say something”.

He thanked the informant who swiftly passed the information to the security adviser which led to the quick arrest of the suspect.

He said after preliminary investigation, the suspect will be handed to the appropriate authority who will now decide on what to do.

The suspected armed herder who spoke through an interpreter said it was his brother who strayed into people’s farm near the river at Agboghol community.

He said the pistol was found on him when the villagers searched him.

According to him, “I just bought it from someone who gave me one ammunition and the person was planning to come to teach me how to use it.”

BSCVG nabs herdsman with pistol in Benue

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