The Nigerian army says State governors are arming thugs and killer herdsmen. Here are 4 ways the allegation was made.
The allegation was made by Brigadier General John Agim, Acting Director of Defence Information.
In an interview with Punch newspaper, Agim said politicians and State governors have been arming thugs who then go on to unleash mayhem on innocent communities.
Here are 4 ways Agim put it:
Some States now have anti-grazing laws in place. When the soldiers were deployed to communities plagued by incessant herdsmen-farmers clashes, State governors thought the soldiers were in town to enforce or stop their laws, according to Agim.
“The problem which the state governments (not only in Taraba) have with the military is that when the military came in, they thought the soldiers were coming to enforce their laws. Is that the military’s responsibility? If the military goes in and says it wants to enforce the state’s anti-grazing laws, then it means the military is doing the work of the state government.
“The military is not supposed to enforce those laws. So we told them we are coming to make sure that there is security”, Agim said.
According to Agim: “During this period, we also discovered that some politicians were using their thugs against another community within the same state, and they made it looked as if herdsmen were attacking the people. Some of these people were arrested.
“For instance, in a local government area, there are two communities fighting against each other and we arrested some people with arms. We did not want to blow it up because it will be misinterpreted”.
In Agim’s words: “It was also discovered that there were a lot of people carrying arms, including the herdsmen.
“So we said nobody should carry arms; anybody who carries arms shall be arrested. But they (the state governments) don’t want their own people to surrender their arms”.
Recall when former Chief of Army Staff Theophilus Danjuma accused the army of colluding with the killer herdsmen? Agim says that’s nonsense.
“The military has no reason to collude with herdsmen because a good number of the troops serving in that operation are from that region. People should not play politics with security issues because if we do, it will not do anybody any good", the army spokesperson said.
In April, the presidency had also blamed politicians for the herdsmen crisis.