The Benue State Government says it has observed an influx of heavily-armed herdsmen at its border with Nasarawa state.
According to the state’s Deputy Governor, Mr Benson Abounu, an investigation into the herdsmen’s activities was prompted by an alarm raised by Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule.
Mr Sule last week had briefed President Muhamamdu Buhari about the activities of Boko Haram insurgents along his state’s borders with Benue.
“We have continued to have challenges with a team of Boko Haram who were settled at the border with the FCT,” Sule said at the time. “We thank the security forces that were able to dislodge them. Now, they have gone back and gathered at our border with Benue and they are causing a lot of havoc.”
Apparently, Governor Sule’s comment raised the Benue State Government’s security alert.
“There was a declaration by the Governor of Nasarawa State when he visited the Presidency that there is a deployment of Boko Haram insurgents to the boundary between Benue and Nasarawa state,” Deputy-Governor Abounu told reporters.
“As a result of this, we in Benue State, using our security agencies, decided to swing into action to find out the truth or otherwise of that declaration.
“While we are still investigating, we have been able to ascertain the fact that there appears to be a massive deployment of herdsmen with their cattle on the brink of River Benue but on the Nasarawa State bank.
“And we also observed that a good number of these herdsmen are heavily armed; many of them with Ak-47 rifles.
“As if this was not enough, we have been able to apprehend a good number of them in a village called Kaseyo, Guma local government of Benue State.
“On the 23rd of January, 150 cows belonging to these herdsmen were apprehended.”