800 herdsmen held over violent attacks – Osinbajo

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Security agencies in Nigeria have arrested about 800 suspected violent herdsmen across the country, according to Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo.

VP-Yemi-Osinbajo

Osinbajo made this disclosure in Houston, Texas in the US on Friday at a Townhall event where he interacted with US-based Nigerians who asked questions at the event and also via the Internet, according to a statement issued by his spokesperson Mr. Laolu Akande.

The Vice President fielded about thirty questions at the townhall event moderated by Mr. Rudolf Okonkwo of Sahara Reporters and Prof. Nimi Wariboko of Boston University.

Asked about the issue of Fulani Herdsmen attacks in certain states across the country and what the Federal Government was doing to curb the problem, the Vice President said “the President has given firm instructions to the security agencies to arrest not only herdsmen who are attacking communities anywhere in the country but anyone of them or anyone at all in possession of firearms.”

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He added that “there are about 800 of suspected violent herdsmen in the country that are currently in custody.” The Vice President however decried the slow pace of the criminal justice system which is affecting the prompt trial of such suspects.

Osinbajo reminded the audience however that the issue of killings by such violent herdsmen has been a perennial issue especially as grazing lands continue to disappear over the years and the cattle feed on peoples crops on the farmlands. He clarified that the matter just did not crop up when President Buhari assumed office.

Vice President Osinbajo then urged against the tendency of interpreting the herdsmen issue as a religious issue, stressing that it is important for all Nigerians to refuse such divisive narratives and tendencies.

He reminded his audience that there has always been conflict between herdsmen and communities across the country and that people should disabuse the notion that the problem has just started because President Buhari, a Fulani is currently at the helm of affairs in the country.

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Answering question on the need for community policing, the Vice President indicated that community policing via State Police is indeed a cardinal program of the ruling APC. However the party agenda cannot be introduced until there is an amendment to the nation’s constitution.

Giving a scenario where a policeman from Bayelsa State for instance is working in Borno State where he cannot even speak the language or understand the culture of the people he is policing, he said that such situation is counterproductive.

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The current situation where police activities is controlled at the federal level sure has some limitations, he conceded adding that the “ the federal government is currently working to introduce community policing that would be in line with the constitution.”

Commenting on the recent arrest of judges in the country, Prof. Osinbajo told said that impunity could be very dangerous in any sector and that the federal government is only exercising its executive function in attempting to check excesses.

He pointed out that the important thing is that due process is being followed as the judges were released about 24 hours after their arrest and once they had given their statements.

4 thoughts on “800 herdsmen held over violent attacks – Osinbajo

  1. The Herdsmen become more daring when their Patron General became the President. And it is not true that the Herdsmen have no agenda to fulfill.
    1. As usual for the Federal Government to provide other peoples' land for their own private business. But it must be known that other Nigerian can as well graze cattle. So, if any cattle ranch is to be established, let the local people of that area benefit.
    2. The Islamic agenda - Once Hausa-Fulani get settled in any large expanse of land and they get their Sheriki or Emir installed. To them, that Emir and Sheriki overlords all other traditional rulers in that area. If the Traditional Rules in Urhobo Land and some other parts of Delta State that are selling Delta people land to the Hausa-Fulani in Ughelli and environ will be surprised, that no sooner their wives and daughters will become Chibok girls. The Fulani will never give out their daughters in marriage to any other person, but they will take others and covert to Muslim.
    3. Once the Hausa-Fulani are in their numbers, the Islamic laws will be practiced in full and there shall be an increase in amputees all over the place begging and also increase crime rates and incidents of attack with Knives etc. And when the ultimate jihad is set, they who would know every nook and corners of the land scape will rush on all and kill at will just the way they do in Jos etc. They do have the backing of their Politicians and Military support with the guns from Barracks which they currently carry about with their Malu without molestation from the Police or armed forces.
    If the Fulani were some other groups in this country, the Army will go after them to arrest them and take the guns from them as they are in the open fields destroying people crows which they have suffered to plant with impunity. Only when they attack and maim the land and crops owners, then we would hear of few arrests while the rest are moving about with the weapons freely, raping women and robbing others they meat.

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