257 Lives Lost to Herdsmen/Farmers Clashes This Year, Says SGF

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Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja

Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, has disclosed that 257 people were killed in clashes between farmers and herdsmen in at least seven states this year.

Mustapha made the disclosure Thursday at the opening ceremony of the Federal and States Security Administrators Meeting (FSSAM) in Katsina.

Mustapha was represented at the parley by the Permanent Secretary Special Services Office (OSGF), Umar Mohammed Bello.

The SGF said the deaths involving farmers and herdsmen happened in 30 documented incidents in at least seven states.

The states he listed states were Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Niger, Kaduna, Plateau and Zamfara.

“Within the last few months, we have recorded a total of over 30 incidents, which have claimed lives of more than 257 persons within this year alone in Zamfara, Adamawa, Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau, Niger, Kaduna to mention but a few,” he said.

Apart from the herdsmen/ farmers clashes, Mustapha also listed the increasing cases of kidnapping and abduction as other security challenges that deserved attention.

“Aside from herdsmen/farmers clashes, we also have other problems posing security challenges and are also compounding the security landscape. This is in the area of kidnapping and abduction. In the past, kidnapping and abduction used to be restricted to some areas but now and it is virtually a national menace and has become so rampant everywhere. We have worrying and increasing instances of child abuse. Children are now becoming victims of criminal rape and molestation, ” Mustapha said, adding all hands must be on deck to put the disturbing trend under control.

He also appealed to the political stakeholders to desist from actions and comments capable of setting the country on fire ahead of the 2019 general elections.

Katsina State Governor Aminu Bello Masari declared the FSSAM open.

Masari said the state government was particular about security issues and had invested heavily in the protection of lives and properties of people in the state by spending N60 million monthly in support of security agencies in the state.