The vigilante group also rustled over 270 cows and took several motorcycles of pastoralists passing through the area.
The leadership of cattle breeders under the umbrella of the Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has accused some local vigilante groups in Taraba and Plateau states of “secretly” killing 13 herders, and rustling over 270 cows from the deceased.
The allegation was made on Monday in a statement in Abuja by the National Secretary of MACBAN, Bello Aliyu-Gotomo, who called on the security agencies to put an end to all the criminal activities against the pastoralists by the vigilante mobs.
According to the statement, MACBAN said, “The National Headquarters of MACBAN condemns the hunting and killing of innocent pastoralists by members of the local vigilante group in Bali Local Government areas of Taraba and some unknown gunmen in Bokkos and Barikin Ladi in Plateau states.
“Reports reaching MACBAN headquarters indicate that on Nov. 25 2022, 13 innocent pastoralists were allegedly hunted and killed by members of the local vigilante in Jatau and Japan villages in Bali LGA in Taraba state.
“The vigilante group also rustled over 270 cows and took several motorcycles of pastoralists passing through the area.
“This dastardly and heinous crime took place in the full glare of constituted authorities with no arrest made so far.”
Aliyu-Gotomo pointed out that no one had the right to take the life of any citizen unless sanctioned by constituted authorities.
He, therefore, called on the federal and state governments to checkmate the activities of the overzealous members of the vigilante groups which are partly responsible for the spiraling of insecurity in the North-West.
“And therefore Taraba ought to learn a lesson. We frown at a situation where the entire security architecture is left in the hands of the local vigilante groups like what’s happening presently in Bali LGA of Taraba State.
“We recall the crisis in Bali started in October 2022 when members of the vigilante group and their collaborators killed 12 pastoralists in Zude village also in Bali LGA and rustled 704 cattle and took away over 30 motorcycles, to date no one had been arrested for these crimes.
“Allowing impunity is the major reason that insecurity is escalating in the country and it is time to deal decisively with the activities of so-called vigilantes to allow Taraba to be plunged into the kind of crisis Zamfara and Katsina states are going through,” Aliyu-Gotomo said.
He further called on the Plateau State Government and the security agencies to fish out those responsible for the killing of herders and farmers in the state.
According to the MACBAN National Secretary, “As a responsible Association, we are ready to assist all those state Governments and the security agencies in dealing with erring pastoralists.
“We had always partnered Governments and security agencies before and we will continue to work for peace and security for all Nigerians.”