Nigerian Army arrest suspected mastermind of Benue attacks

By Editor on 28/04/2018

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The Nigerian Army said it has arrested a major Boko Haram suspect "believed to have masterminded most of the recent attacks in Benue State."

Th suspect, Aminu Yaminu also known as Tashaku, was said to have been arrested Friday, April 27, in Makurdi, by a combined team of troops of 707 Special Forces Brigade, Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services.

The army disclosed this in a statement issued on Friday by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 707 Special Forces Brigade in Makurdi, Olabisi Olalekan Ayeni.

"Following an intelligence report, it was gathered that Aminu has concluded plans with his cohorts in Bauchi, Borno, Yobe and Nasarawa states to launch a major attack on innocent citizens in Benue State," Ayeni said.

He said the Nigerian Army is working tirelessly to clamp down on the criminals wreaking havoc in Benue.

"As earlier reinstated, Nigerian Army will ensure enemies of peace in the state are brought to justice. Nigerian Army encourages all law-abiding citizens to go about their lawful businesses without fear," he added.

The army also urged Nigerians to provide it and other security agencies with timely information that could lead to the arrest of criminals in the society.

Benue has been under attack since January 2018 when suspected herdsmen massacred 73 persons.

The people of the state have been living in fear as the herdsmen practically launch fatal attacks every week.

On Tuesday, April 24, gunmen attacked a Catholic church in Gwer East Local Government Area of the state, killing two priests and 17 worshippers.

Hours after, a community in Guma LGA was also attacked and 13 persons were killed.

Following the incessant killings, both the House of Representatives and the Senate this week summoned President Muhammadu  Buhari to address a joint session of lawmakers over what is being done to stop the attacks.

Buhari, during his official visit to the UK last week, had blamed Muammar Gddafi, the late Libyan president, for the ongoing killings across the country.

Gaddafi was killed in October 2011 following weeks of violent uprising across Libya, ending his 42-year reign. He was 69.

Prior to his death, which was aided by Western invasion into Libya, Gaddafi reportedly armed his supporters to ward off the rebellion against him. Libya subsequently plunged into a civil war that still lingers nearly seven years later.

Buhari said the arms Gaddafi provided to his supporters had filtered into Nigeria where they are now being used to fuel killings across the middle-belt.

"The problem is even older than us," Buhari said of killings. "It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region."

"These gunmen were trained and armed by Muammar Gaddafi of Libya. When he was killed, the gunmen escaped with their arms. We encountered some of them fighting with Boko Haram. "Herdsmen that we used to know carried only sticks and maybe a cutlass to clear the way, but these ones now carry sophisticated weapons", the President added.

 

He also dismissed the claims that the herdsmen crisis has tribal and religious undertone, noting that the problem is purely  sociological and economic.

Posted 28/04/2018 10:48:56 PM

 

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