Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said no less than 800 suspected violent herdsmen across the country have been arrested by security agencies.
Osinbajo, who made this known at Townhall meeting in Houston Texas, US, noted in a statement signed his spokesperson Mr. Laolu Akande that the President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the security agencies to arrest both violent herdsmen and anyone in possession of firearms.
According to him, “the President has given firm instructions to the security agencies to arrest not only herdsmen who are attacking communities anywhere in the country but anyone of them or anyone at all in possession of firearms.”
Osinbajo, who revealed that , “there are about 800 of suspected violent herdsmen in the country that are currently in custody,” however, lamented the slow pace of the criminal justice system which is affecting the prompt trial of such suspects.
The vice president, who addressed US-based Nigerians who asked questions via the internet at the Townhall meeting, noted that the issue of killings by such violent herdsmen had been a perennial issue especially as grazing lands continue to disappear over the years and the cattle feed on people’s crops on the farmlands. According to him, the matter predates the Buhari administration.
He advised against misconstruing the herdsmen issue as a religious issue just as he charged Nigerians to refuse such divisive narratives and tendencies.
According to him, there had always been a conflict between herdsmen and communities across the country and people should disabuse the notion that the problem has just started because of Buhari, a Fulani man currently at the helm of affairs.