Some Fulani men seem to have abandoned their vocation of tending their cows and are now masters of the road.
Two Fulani herdsmen, Manu Hassan and Mohammed Umar, who were members of a robbery gang that operates along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, especially the Berger axis, have been arrested by soldiers attached to the OP Mesa, the military security outfit in Lagos State.
Hassan and Umar, who are both from Ngaski town in Kebbi State, according to reports from the police, were caught while robbing motorist along the long bridge that connects Lagos and Ogun States on the expressway and handed to the state Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS.
Three locally-made rifles and some cartridges were recovered from the gang.
In a statement by the police, the gang of Fulani herdsmen turned robbers, apart from the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, also has hideouts in the Abbatoirs at Abule Egba and Agege areas of Lagos, as well as Igbo Ora and Saki areas in Oyo State, where they carry out their nefarious acts.
The reports added that the gang of seven were operating when the soldiers swooped on them and arrested Hassan and Umar while the other five managed to escape and are still on the run.
Speaking while being paraded by the police, Umar, who is 28-years-old, said he had come to the Kara Market on the expressway to make a living by selling cows before he joined the gang.
"I am married with two children, and my family is based in Kebbi. I was formerly selling cows at the Kara Market before I was introduced to the gang. I rob on the highway and also steal cows, although I don’t enjoy it. I have stolen about 12 cows this year.
I sold them to one Alhaji Dan Manu in Abbatoir, Agege. I sold six to him for N500,000. I don’t have problem taking the cows away. I know their language."
22-year-old Hassan, said the gang had just started their operation when the OP MESA stormed the place.
"It was Mohammed who said they had work to do that night and I should come with them. I thought he was talking about construction labour.
But when I knew we were going to rob on the expressway, I told them I could not use a gun. They threatened to kill me, and then handed me one of their guns.
We had hardly started the operation when the soldiers arrived at the scene. Others ran away, but I was caught. We were seven in number. The soldiers might have killed me, but I surrendered to them, explaining that it was my first time."
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Kenneth Nwosu, confirmed the arrest of the herdsmen.
"They are the ones terrorising the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, especially around the Kara Market. They have confessed to several other robberies. Three locally-made guns and knives were recovered from them."