The Nigerian Police Force, have said they are probing the alleged involvement of different groups, including the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria in the killing of over 20 people in Benue State between Monday and Tuesday.
The force explained that the eight suspects their custody in connection with the incident would provide details about the masterminds of the attack, adding that anyone found culpable would be arrested and prosecuted.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Jimoh Moshood, said this in a telephone interview on Thursday in response to allegations that some Miyetti Allah leaders had earlier threatened to cause mayhem in Benue State following the implementation of the anti-open grazing law which the Fulani herdsmen were opposed to.
Asked if the police were probing the involvement of the leaders and members of the cattle breeders in the state, the police spokesman stated, “We are investigating every group and anybody linked to the attack would be arrested and prosecuted.”
He disclosed that additional policemen, including forensic experts and detectives, had been deployed in the state to provide security and carry out a thorough investigation into the attacks.
The Force spokesman added that the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, had directed the DIG, Operations, Joshak Habila, to proceed to Benue State.
He noted that additional personnel, including special forces and riot policemen, had also been dispatched to the crisis points.
Moshood said, “We have arrested eight suspects and they would further lead us to the other people behind the incident, and definitely, anybody linked to the attack would be arrested; there is no doubt.
“And that is why the Inspector-General of Police has directed that anyone linked to that attack should be arrested regardless of their affiliation. We have eight suspects and we are working further, carrying out investigations to know those linked to the attack.”
Asked if the suspects were members of the Miyetti Allah, the police said investigations would reveal the group they belonged to, adding that they were currently being interrogated.
He explained that the force was looking at broader solutions to the crisis in the state, noting that the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in Makurdi had convened a stakeholders meeting in Lafia, Nasarawa State, on the development.
He said, “The AIG in charge of Makurdi zone was directed to carry out a stakeholders meeting, which he has carried out, bringing in police commissioners in Benue and Nasarawa states to a security stakeholders meeting today (Thursday) in Lafia, where the leaders of herdsmen and farmers were also invited as well as Benue and Nasarawa state governments.
On its part, the Nigerian Army said it was not ready to disclose its move on the current crisis in Benue State.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen Sani Usman, said, “I will not tell you. Do I have to tell you why? I am not under any obligation to tell you why.”
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )