After months of respite, Plateau State branch of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has stated that no fewer than 1,600 cattle belonging to its members were recently stolen at gun point in Plateau State.
The association, in a petition to the state governor, Simon Lalong, signed by its state chairman, Muhammad Nuru Abdullahi and secretary, Abdullahi Ardo respectively, pointed out that from January to date 1,653 cows had been stolen, but said due to the efforts of ‘Operation Safe Heaven (OPSH),’ 1,591 were recovered with the whereabouts of 62 cows unknown.
“In February, Berom rustlers had killed a herder and rustled 13 cattle into Kanakon village of Fan district, adding that “the 13 cattle were housed by one Bulus Aboyi, his wife, Esther and brother, Yakubu. This attracted the attention of the community who gathered and started beating and macheting us and the officers of OPSH Sector 7 when we tried to recover the cattle.”
It further stated that seven Berom youths, armed with AK47, rustled 45 cows while they were grazing around Ndig village into Foron, adding that efforts of OPSH led to the discovery of two cows, which were at the time being slaughtered and its meat shared among the Berom.
“As a result of that, an emergency meeting called by the sector 7 commander with the Berom community of Fan and Foron and the pressure mounted on the traditional rulers led to the return of 19 calf out of the 45 to the OPSH Commander.”
When contacted, the Director of Press and Public Affairs (DOPA) to Governor Lalong, Samuel Emmanuel Nanle, said government discussed the matter of cattle rustling in its last Security Council meeting on Tuesday with the aim of addressing the situation.
Nanle said “Government will not rest on its oars to ensure that it nips this in the bud, as well as deal decisively with the perpetrator of this act, particularly because they want to return us to the dark age of violence.”