Livestock guards arrest cattle rustlers, teenage herder

Livestock Guards in Benue State have arrested two cattle rustlers, Mr Atsagba Ukua and his son for rustling six cows from herdsmen.

Special Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom on Security Matters, Colonel Paul Hembah (Rtd), who briefed journalists Saturday in Makurdi on the incident, said the suspects were arrested on their way to the cattle market at North Bank, Makurdi to sell the rustled cows.

He explained that upon interrogation by Livestock Guards who were on routine patrol, the suspect said the cows destroyed his farm produce and out of anger, he took laws into his hands by impounding the animals, in order to sell as compensation for his damaged farm produce.

According to the Security Adviser, the ranching law of the state forbids acts of self help, hence, the need to hand over the suspects to the Police for prosecution while the rustled cows would be handed over to the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association,for onward presentation to the owner.

In a similar development, the Security Adviser told journalists that a teenage herder, Master Kwagman Yayi was arrested by Livestock Guards with over 60 cows grazing openly around Yelewata in Guma Local Government Area and would also be prosecuted in accordance with the ranching law.

Col Hembah who restated the numerous gains of ranching, said the case of the young herder was child abuse which should be condemned and discouraged by all.

Atsagba Ukua, in his explanation said, he had suffered for several years at the hands of herdsmen and because they had inflicted so much pain on him, he decided, out of anger, to impound the cows and sell as compensation for his ruined farm produce.

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