NSCDC ARRESTS 50 ARMED HERDSMEN IN EKITI , BORNO, CROSS RIVER

Adelani Adepegba, Abuja
6:08 pm
Operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps have arrested no fewer than 50 armed herdsmen in the past one week, the Commandant-General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi, has disclosed.

He stated that the suspects were apprehended in Ekiti, Borno, Cross River and other states, adding that they were allegedly involved in banditry, abductions and cattle rustling.

Audi revealed this while presenting licences to 17 private security guard operators in Abuja, on Wednesday.

The CG stressed the need for synergy among security agencies, noting that the security challenges besetting the nation could only be addressed substantially through sharing of intelligence.

He, therefore, charged the private guard operators to ensure valuable contribution to ongoing efforts at checking the rising insecurity across the country.

While lamenting the current security challenge, which he argued was asymmetric in nature, Audi assured that the situation could improve if relevant stakeholders synergised and work together.

He said, “The nation is being bedevilled with a very serious security crisis, and that is the asymmetric warfare. If you want to deal decisively with this, you must synergise with all stakeholders, in terms of credible intelligence.

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“We arrested 50 illegally armed herdsmen, and we realised that some of them are into rustling of cattle, and also kidnapping. The armed herdsmen were arrested throughout the federation – some in Ekiti, Borno, Cross River states.

“You know it is part of our mandate to settle disputes between herdsmen and farmers, and to also give some security protection to our agro-allied investments in the country and that is what we are doing.’’

The CG pledged the readiness of the corps to work with other security and para-military agencies in the country to subdue non-state actors and their violent activities.

According to Audi, the arrest of the armed herdsmen was an indication of his determination to reposition the corps for optimal delivery on its core mandate.

Meanwhile, the NSCDC has read the riot act to private security guard operators in the country, warning that their licences will be withdrawn upon involvement in unethical practice.

Audi cautioned them against adopting ranks or other accoutrement used by the military and other security agencies. He also advised the operators to prioritise the welfare needs of their guards for optimal results.