The Nigerian Army has denied the allegation that soldiers killed 17 cattle breeders in southern Kaduna, warning herdsmen from dragging it into any propaganda.
Haruna Usman, chairman of the Kaduna state chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), had alleged that the attack happened in Daile Alkariyo village in Jama’a local government area of Kaduna state, on Monday.
“When the security personnel arrived, they started to kill our people. As I speak to you now, about 17 of our members have been killed and 47 houses burnt.”
“The military men burnt their homes and killed them. In fact one old man, almost 75 years old, was shot on the leg, he has only one leg, but they shot the other leg,” Haruna had said.
But the army spokesman said the allegations were untrue.
“The allegation is most unfortunate and it is not true. It is most uncharitable and irresponsible of anyone to say so,” he said in response to inquiries by TheCable.
“Our soldiers have been selfless, professional and impartial in the discharge of their duties. The extent of our sacrifice and determination to bring peace and security is unquestionable.
“They should not in any way drag us into their propaganda. The unfortunate incident would be investigated and the whole world will know the truth.”
Sani Usman said this hours after Tukur Buratai, chief of army staff, told state house correspondents that President Muhammadu Buhari is happy with the army.
“The president is happy with the Nigerian army and the military,” Buratai had said.
“We will continue to do our work as enshrined in the constitution and we equally assured him of our absolute loyalty to ensure that we discharge our constitutional responsibility accordingly.’”
Elanza News earlier reported on Monday that Armed Herdsmen have killed three people in Aso and Tanda villages of Kagoma Chiefdom, Jema’a LGA of Kaduna state.
Elanza News gathered that the incident happened when an elderly man, Steven James Makama, 55, went to the farm to prevent herdsmen from destroying his cassava but get killed by the armed men.
It was gathered that two other young men were killed by the same armed herdsmen at a river near Tanda village when they went for fishing.
“The herdsmen have been destroying Mr Makama’s cassava. So, every morning, he will rush to the farm to prevent the cows from entering. But on Sunday, he went to the farm to do same but was killed by the armed herdsmen.”
“When the youth of the community found his corpse in the farm, the people of Aso protested. The Kpop Gwong and some of his traditional council members went to the community and calm the situation,” a resident said.
The body of the late Makama was earlier not retrieved because of shootings from the armed herdsmen, it was gathered.
“We called the police and they confronted the armed men to the bush with their cows. They entered a deep forest and killed two villagers who went for fishing. Soldiers came and made attempts to retrieve the body of the people that were killed but there were massive gunshots. The brave military men alongside the police were able to arrest three armed herdsmen,” a source said.
He said all the copses were retrieved to Tanda village adding that the area is now calm with people afraid of the unknown since not all the armed men were arrested.
“The dead bodies have not been buried because of the tension in the area. They might be buried on Wednesday,” a traditional leader in the area told Elanza News.