Nigerian Army troops arrest herdsman with locally-made bulletproof vest in Benue State

NIGERIAN Amy troops patrolling in Benue State have arrested a Fulani cattle herdsman armed with a locally-made  bulletproof vest and other weapons in a development that surprised them at how well equipped these pastoralists are.


Over recent years, Nigeria has been plagued with the menace of heavily armed Fulani cattle herdsmen attacking local farming communities as disputes over grazing rights have led to clashes. In response to farmers objecting to livestock destroying their crops, the herdsmen, equipped with AK47s have been known to lay waste to villages, leaving hundreds dead.


Benue State has been one of the worst affected states in the country and in a bid to seek a solution to the problem, the Benue State government passed the Benue Open Grazing Prohibition Bill. However, some herdsmen refused to accept it and went on a rampage in protest and the Nigerian Army has had to be drafted in to keep the peace in the state.


Yesterday, troops on patrol arrested a herdsman with a locally made bullet-proof vest and a cutlass at Chegba village in Logo Local Government Area. According to Nigerian Army spokesman Colonel Aliyu Yusuf, the suspect has been handed over to the police.


He said that troops went into the area after a violent clash between hunters and herdsmen in Obi Local Government following a distress call. In related development, Col Yusuf said troops on patrol also seized a locally made pistol with one live cartridge at Gidan Kiya village in Ibbi Local Government Area of Taraba State.


Col Yusuf called on the residents of the areas where the army's Operation Cat Race exercise was taking place to continue to cooperate with the troops by providing useful information and to report any suspicious movement to security agencies. Following the crisis, Nigeria's National Economic Committee (NEC) established a 10-man committee to look into the matter and come up with solutions.