The association said the police has refused to provide sufficient reason for arresting the cattle herders
In a press conference in Jalingo, the state capital, on Sunday, March 18, 2019, the North-East Zonal Chairman of the association, Mafindi Danburam, alleged that the police has refused to provide sufficient reason for arresting the cattle herders on March 14.
In a report by The Punch, he further accused the Takum Council Chairman, Shiban Tikari, of being behind the arrest and described it as a damaging action that threatens an already tense situation in the state.
According to Danburam, the arrested members of the association had gone to the Bantaje Cattle Market to sell their cows and were apprehended on their way back by the police under the alleged instructions of Tikari before they were later transferred to the state police command in Jalingo.
He said, "We have visited the command and demanded for reasons for their arrest, charges against them and the complainant statement which have not been made available to us.
"We are really in the hands of elements of destruction who believe that a Fulani man has no right to live and enjoy his right as a citizen in Taraba State.
"Takum is now a no-go area for us. Our people are being killed, their animals maimed but nobody has been arrested for these crimes."
When contacted, the Taraba State Commissioner of Police, David Akinremi, said the arrest was based on information received that there was a mass movement of people suspected to be the perpetrators of some violent attacks at Bawe, Panshen, Muji 1 and Muji 2 villages in the Takum LGA.
He disclosed that police intercepted four vehicles loaded with herdsmen after some concerned residents reported that they were positioning themselves to carry out an attack.
He also disclosed that investigation is ongoing to get to the root of the matter.
"About 41 of the suspects claimed they have cows at Kashimbilla. So, we need to verify if there is any evidence that they took cows to Bantaje for sale. We may probably find out from the native and middlemen if they had performed any transaction with them," he said.
Nothing incriminating was found on the suspects according to the Commissioner of Police.