The Nasarawa State Police Command has acknowledged the deaths of 27 pastoralists as a result of an airstrike in the state’s Doma Local Government Area.
According to Nansel, preliminary inquiry revealed that the pastoralists went to Benue on Tuesday to pay fines for the release of cattle seized by the Benue Livestock Guards enforcing the State’s Anti-Open Grazing and Ranching Law.
“Something like a drone or an aircraft hovered in the air and shelled them while they were loading some of the cows into trucks on Tuesday night in Kwatiri village, a border settlement between Benue and Nasarawa,” he claimed.
According to Nansel, the Commissioner of Police, Maiyaki Mohammed-Baba, visited the location of the event and attended the funeral of the deceased alongside the State Deputy Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe, and several traditional rulers.
He stated that an inquiry was underway to identify those responsible for the conduct, and that the command had dispatched police officers to prevent a breakdown in law and order.
Gov. Abdullahi Sule has already condemned the heinous incident, adding he was in contact with his Benue counterpart about it as security services conducted their investigations.
He urged people to remain calm and not take the law into their own hands.
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) also condemned the alleged killing and demanded a thorough inquiry to identify those responsible.
MACBAN stated in a statement provided to NAN by its National Public Relations Officer, Muhammad Nura, that “this is the third time we are seeing such incidents.”
He said that, in addition to the casualties, cattle was slaughtered in the attack.
“MACBAN describes the behavior as not only condemnable but a war crime under the Geneva Convention that prohibits the wanton killing of livestock.
“We call on the authorities to investigate this terror, punish the perpetrators, and ensure that such crimes do not occur again,” the Nura added.