The Imo State Police Command yesterday confirmed that a suspected herdsman was arrested with a sack of bullets at Obudi Agwa Community in Ohaji/Egbema Council of the state.
Its Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Orlando Godson Ikeokwu, a Superintendent of Police, who confirmed the incident, said the suspect has been detained as investigation continues.
“It is true. I can confirm that the suspect has been arrested and detained, while investigation is ongoing,” he said.
Traditional ruler of the community where the suspect was apprehended, Eze Ignatius Assor, told journalists that the suspect was arrested by his subjects and handed over to the police Area Command in Egbema, saying herders’ cattle had destroyed crops in the area.
He lamented that the people of the area now live in fear, urging security agencies to act fast and secure lives and property of the Obudi Agwa people.
Besides, a former Governor of Bauchi State, Isa Yuguda met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja yesterday after which he declared that some herders crisscrossing parts of the country were criminals.
He, however, cautioned that it would be unfair for Nigerians to criminalise all herdsmen, maintaining that most of them were only carrying out their legitimate trade across the country, describing them as generally peaceful.
Yuguda spoke on the insecurity challenges in the country while fielding questions from State House Correspondents, adding: “We know there are quite a number of them that are criminals, but criminalising all herdsmen, I think, is unfair, because they have been peaceful people.”
He attributed herders-farmers crisis to shrinking land and grazing reserves, as well as competition due to the country’s increasing population.
“Of course, there has been competition for land. If 60 million people were occupying the land in the 1960s, today we have over 200 million.
“All the cattle routes that were established by the British colonialists have all been closed down because of human habitations, and of course even the grazing reserves have been taken over by farmlands as population keeps growing.
“So, some of these criminals would have taken advantage of what has been happening and unleashing mayhem on our people, but that is not acceptable,” he stated.
Yuguda also decried banditry in parts of the country, attributing the development to challenges associated with migration on the African continent.