Leader of Fulani herdsmen in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, Alhaji Idris Galadima, has said that cattle rustlers snatching cows and money from herdsmen in the territory ‘‘have links to Boko Haram insurgents.’’
Alhaji Galadima who stated this on Tuesday at a security meeting organised by FCT Commissioner of Police, CP, Wilson Inalegwu, added that ‘‘the cattle rustlers are mostly from Zamfara State.’’
According to him, in recent times, cattle rustlers have attacked many communities including Pai, Kundu, Yangoge, Tudun Fulani, Kungo, Gwagwalada and Kuje amongst others, killing and injuring herdsmen as well as family members.
He added that, ‘‘as result of the incessant attacks on them, most herdsmen are relocating to neighbouring countries.’’
The Fulani delegation leader informed the Police Commissioner that ‘‘the invading cattle rustlers are often armed with heavy weapons, so, security operatives would require adequate fire power to stem such attacks.’’
Commenting on ways to stop the issues of cattle breeders, farmers clashes in the FCT and other parts of Nigeria, Alhaji Galadima urged farmers to avoid planting crops on cattle routes, so that their cows would not destroy crops on farms.
Another Fulani leader who also commented during the security meeting, Alhaji Ali Abubakar, called on his kinsmen to ‘‘endeavour to send their children and wards to school, pointing out that the rising level of crimes being witnessed in their areas could be linked to illiteracy, high consumption of Indian Hemp and other illicit drugs.’’
Earlier, CP Inalegwu, in his opening remark, said the meeting was part of proactive measures to ensure the protection of lives and property of all and sundry in the FCT.
The FCT Police chief solicited the support of the herdsmen, stressing that he had called them so that they could work out plans on how to avoid clashes between the herdsmen and the host communities.
“We want to see how the farmers’ crops will be saved and your cattle not harmed by the farmers. All this is to avoid any party from committing crime. But once any of the parties engage in crime, we will not tolerate it because once you have issues with host communities, we will have problems.
‘‘So we will give you our phone numbers so that anytime there is a misunderstanding, instead of taking laws into your hands, you should call us. The DPOs are there. They are closer to you; so that if you have issues with farmers, you can call the DPOs to avoid problems,” he said.