Eight Fulani herdsmen, suspected to be responsible for the murder of 15 residents in three communities in the Logo Local Government Area of Benue State have been arrested by the police. This has been confirmed by the Benue State Police Command.
The state Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, disclosed this in an interview with the Punch on Monday. He said the herdsmen were arrested as suspected masterminds, assuring that the command had also deployed riot policemen to watch over the forest and farmlands in the vulnerable communities.
The assailants had on Sunday, and again on Tuesday, attacked Tse Akaa, Mba’abaji and Tse Orlalu in Ugondo Mbanar District of the Logo LGA of Benue – eight bodies were initially recovered.
The clash between the villagers and the herdsmen was reportedly over arguments over moving their cattle away from farmlands in the areas, during which the herdsmen attacked their victims, who were said to be returning from a church service.
As at last Teusday, the death toll in the Benue attacks had risen to 15.
Apart from the arrest of the suspects, Mr. Makama, said the police had put proactive measures in place such as the establishment of committees at the state, local and ward levels.
The CP said, “As I talk to you, we have policemen guarding the farmlands and the forest in the Logo and Buruku areas. They are not even in the town to protect lives and property, as it were. They are deployed to be guarding bushes.
“Also, eight Fulani herdsmen have been arrested by the police. They are suspected to be masterminds of the attacks. The culprits usually do not go with their cattle when they want to attack.
“Another proactive measure taken is that the formation of committees at the state, local government and ward levels. The committee comprises of security agencies, the farmers and the herdsmen too. These are done within the vulnerable communities so that we can forestall any recurrence of such attack.”
Attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen is rampant in Benue State. This should be the first time, the Police have successfully arrested herdmen suspects after an attack.