Special Adviser to the Niger State governor on Niger East matters, Mr. Pius Wakili on Sunday raised the alarm that “armed to the teeth” Fulani herdsmen were still on the prowl in several villages of Niger East senatorial district.
The outcry by the special adviser contradicted the claim by the police that it had been able to send the Fulani herdsmen away from various forests where they operated indiscriminately early this year.
“We have reports from most villages that these cattle rustlers totting AK47 rifles are moving freely in forests in Allawa, Galadima Kogo, Erena and other villages.
“Though these herdsmen are not attacking people, it is feared that they may soon return to their old habits,” Wakili said.
Not less than 37 people had been killed in several attacks on these villages by thee herdsmen while several properties were destroyed.
A large number of cattle were also rustled, though security agents were able to return some and handed them over to their owners.
Wakili therefore called on the Joint Security Taskforce on cattle rustling to intensify surveillance patrol in villages across Zone B, as the armed herders suspected to be rustlers have begun to hibernate in the areas months after they were dislodged.
Wakili, who spoke to newsmen in Minna, added that “there is an urgent need for the taskforce to act fast to prevent the rustlers from striking in the villages.”
While commending the joint taskforce for curtailing the activities of cattle rustlers in that part of the state, the special adviser said the reappearance of the “thieves” had become source of worry and fears to the villagers, who were afraid to go out for their farming activities.
“There is the need for security men to intensify patrols of the areas because our people have been noticing movements of armed men some without cows parading the villages with sophisticated weapons,” he added, but advised the villagers to “remain calm and peaceful” while government handled the situation.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elikana said the force “is just hearing this report and we will investigate it and act appropriately.”
Elikana, however, said the joint task force monitoring the forests and added that the operation was still on.

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