Niger’s beef with rustling, herder attacks
Kidnapping, cattle rustling and other crimes have combined to put Niger State on the spotlight.
Criminal activities in neighbouring Zamafara, Kebbi, Sokoto and Kaduna states have exacerbated the situation with the border points as escape routes and the forests linking them as hideouts. The recent attacks by herders have also compounded the already delicate security situation in the state.
Tears over the demise of Mommoh Musa Shaba, an Assistant Superintendent with the Niger State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) may have dried up. But his unceremonious exit from the world on Friday, January 13 has left a permanent vacuum in the minds of his two children and young wife even as they will endure the pains for life.
Shaba, 33, was one of the sacrificial lambs in a reprisal by herdsmen who stormed Sabon Daga area at 3.am that Friday. He, along with other officers and men of the corps as well as those of the police, were sent in to protect lives following a clash between some villagers and herders five days earlier, which led to the death of four persons. So also was the late Inspector Joshua Sarumi of the state police command, who later died of bullet wounds from the attack.
The duo along with three others confirmed by the authorities to have lost their lives, have since been buried in their respective villages, while others who sustained injuries will live to tell the story of the ugly incident.
The clash expectedly left a sour taste across the state, not only because of the casualties but the level of destruction, especially of farm produce at a time when prices of foodstuff are skyrocketing. Stores of yams, millet, sorghum, maize and others were set ablaze in the attack which also rendered about 6, 000 people homeless. Emergency agency officials had to provide temporary camps for the displaced that have no nearby relatives to approach for shelter.
Worried by the development, Governor Abubakar Sani Bello called elders and stakeholders among the feuding parties to a roundtable and made them sign a peace accord.
“They were made to sign an undertaking that such incidents would not happen again with both parties agreeing to live together”, a source close to the meeting told our correspondent yesterday.
Following the development, the displaced persons who were camped in a private farm belonging to a former Head of State, retired General Abdulsalami Abubakar, were convinced to return home.
“The temporary camps were disbanded after the leaders of both parties asked their members to return home Monday evening,” NSEMA Director General, Ahmed Ibrahim Inga said.
He said the state government had been
Barns set ablaze by herders PHOTOS:
Yams destroyed in one of the attacks