Gunmen have killed an Inspector of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Benue State.
This was disclosed by the security agency in a Sunday statement by Ekunola Gbenga, the Media Assistant to the Commandant General of the NSCDC.
The victim was identified as Joseph Ochogwu, an Idoma man from Benue South senatorial zone. Although he was murdered a fortnight ago, news of his killing was only disclosed Sunday morning by Mr Gbenga.
The NSCDC said the attackers are suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
According to Mr Gbenga, the Commandant of the corps in the state, Isah Ado, confirmed the killing during the handing over of over 460 cows belonging to Fulani herdsmen that were impounded by the Livestock Guards for violating the anti-grazing law of the state.
Benue has a controversial anti-open grazing law that bans open grazing by cattle. Hundreds of cattle have been seized by authorities for alleged violation of the law. The cattle are sometimes returned to defaulters who are told not to openly graze in the state anymore.
Speaking on his officer’s murder, Mr Ado said Mr Ochogwu was killed in Guma Local Government Area in his line of duty, a fortnight ago.
He said an investigative panel has been set up to investigate the murder of the gallant officer whose corpse, he said, had been deposited in the mortuary awaiting burial on April 30 this year.
He said the North Central Zonal Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Danladi Ciroma, was cooperating with the corps to apprehend the perpetrators for possible prosecution.
Mr Ciroma, who also reportedly confirmed the killing of the NSCDC officer, said Mr Ochogwu was murdered while trying to ensure peace in the state.
Hundreds of people have been killed in Benue in the past few years, often in conflicts between armed herders and farming communities.
The killings have continued in rural communities, although at a much lower scale than before. Many of the recent violence go unreported due to lack of access to such remote communities by journalists.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how six people were killed on March 3 by suspected herders in Abaji, a rural farming community in Kwande Local Government Area of Benue. Six people were also missing from the attack.
Media Assistant to the Commandant General
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...