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How Nigerian Military Air Strikes Killed 31 Herdsmen, 8 Butchers, Cattle In Nasarawa –Herders’ Union, Miyetti Allah

January 26, 2023

MACBAN President, Baba Othman Ngelzarma disclosed this in a statement sent to SaharaReporters on Thursday.

The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has accused the Nigerian Air Force of killing its members in the Rukubi community of Doma Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.


MACBAN President, Baba Othman Ngelzarma disclosed this in a statement sent to SaharaReporters on Thursday.


He said the herders, numbering about 40 were killed by operatives of the Nigerian Air Force Base in Makurdi, Benue State.


According to him, they were killed while returning from Makurdi, the Benue State capital, where they went to retrieve over 1,000 cows seized by the Benue Livestock Guards. 


He said that after the payment of fines amounting to N29 million, some of the livestock was released to the herders by the guards and they were sadly trailed and killed while offloading the cattle shortly after they reached their destination in Nasarawa State.


The statement read, “The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria – MACBAN condemns the Barbaric killing of 30 Pastoralists with unspecified number of livestock by a purported Bombing raid from unknown source on January 21st 2023 in Rukubi Community, Ikye Development Area, Doma Local Government Nasarawa State.


“Those killed had gone to Makurdi to retrieve about 1,250 of their cows impounded by the Benue Livestock guards after paying a fine of about 29 Million Naira for violating the “anti-open grazing law of Benue State”.

“After paying, the pastoralist had hired vehicles from Makurdi to convey back their seized livestock to Rukubi, and it was in the process of offloading their livestock that an attack was conducted which killed 31 Pastoralists, 8 Hausa Butchers from Benue who have escorted the vehicles to upload the cows and four (4) others are now on admission in Lafia Hospital.


“His Excellency, the Deputy Governor Nasarawa State, Commissioner of Police, the Emirs of Lafia & Doma, the Doma LG Chairman and the State Chairman MACBAN were all in attendance during the Burial of the deceased in Rukubi Community today.


“This is the third time we have experienced such happenings. In the last two happenings, it was clear that the Airforce is being involved in strafing livestock between the border of Benue & Nasarawa State within the last one year.


“But in the recent one, it is not clear whether it was a Bomb Blast, distant attack or an Airstrike as reported by our Nasarawa State Branch.”

MACBAN describes the action as not only condemnable but a war crime under the Geneva convention that prohibits the wanton killing of livestock.

He said, “We call on the authorities to not only investigate this terror but to also punish the culprits and to be sure that incidents like this will not happen again.

“Information available to us shows that the perpetrators must have been informed about the release of the livestock from Benue Livestock Guards Custody to impose double jeopardy on pastoralists lives and their assets.

“We wonder how animals easily become culprits to deserve such barbaric action by a supposedly disciplined and well-trained outfit of the Federal Government. MACBAN demands an unreserved apology to the families of the victims and to Nigerians in General for this reckless and reprehensible act of barbarism.


“The Federal Government must also investigate this incident as a matter of urgency and put a stop to the involvement of Airforce in the pursuit and killing of livestock to appease the Benue state Government. Adequate compensation must also be paid to the relatives of the victims as a Matter of serious concern.”