Cattle rustlers turn abandoned Zuma Rock Hotel to abattoir
The abandoned Zuma Rock Hotel in Niger State is now being used by some cattle rustlers and their butchers as an abattoir.
A gang of suspected rustlers operating along Abuja and Niger State boundaries was reportedly tracked down on Saturday by the members of the Suleja Emirate Vigilante at the abandoned hotel.
They were said to be in the process of butchering a rustled cow when they were apprehended.
A vigilante source in Suleja told Daily Trust that a butcher and a motorcyclist, who used to distribute meats butchered from stolen cows to some meat sellers at various locations within the axis, were also arrested at the scene.
Leader of the vigilante group in the area, Muhammad Ali, informed our reporter that some residents of the area had earlier reported suspicious movements of the people, who usually brought cows into the facilty. Also, a community leader in the area, Usman Dahiru, said a group of some headers, whose two of their cows were stolen along Kaduna road, traced one of the stolen cows to a compound at the nearby Chachi village.
He said the group stormed their area around 6.00 a.m. on Saturday to search for the other cow, using its footsteps.
According to him, this led them into the premises of Zuma Rock Hotel, where they caught the said butcher, Yakubu Baba Dakwa and one Bello Lawal, who is alleged to be supplying the meat to some meat sellers. The community leader said though most of the slaughtered cow’s parts have already been distributed by the motorcyclist before their arrival, the owner of the butchered cow was able to identify it through its head, which was yet to be taken away.
He said the angry cow owner had intended to set the two suspects ablaze when the vigilante group arrived and saved them from the jungle justice.
The vigilante leader, Muhammad Ali, further disclosed that the butcher told them that he was yet to settle the rustlers, who brought the cows the agreed amount of N50, 000.
He said the vigilantes directed the arrested butchers to put a call to the rustlers for their money and that four of them came to the scene and two of them were promptly arrested while the other two escaped.
‘’Two of the rustlers escaped on arrival after suspecting a foul play but the other two suspects, Ibrahim Yusufu and Dahiru Yusufu were successfully arrested,’’ the vigilante leader said.
He hinted that all the four suspects were handed over to the police at the Sabo Wuse Police Division in Niger State, adding that efforts are on to trace the two fleeing suspects and other members of the gang.
When contacted, the police area commander in charge of Suleja, Abubakar Yahaya, an Assistant Commissioner, confirmed the incident but said further investigations are on.