By Garba Mohammad
As the feud between Fulani nomads and some communities continued to raise concern, over 1,500 herds of cattle have also been rustled in Adamawa state in the last three weeks. The factional scribe of the state chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, (MACBAN) Mallam Usman Liman Demsa has decried the incessant cattle rustling across the state saying if concerted effort is not done to address the malaise, the country may encounter meat shortage with its debilitating consequences to food security.
Speaking in Yola, the scribe wondered how these cattle rustlers stole herds of cows with impunity across the state despite the fact that there are many checkpoints across the state urging the security operatives to intensify scrutiny as the cows are usually stolen in the night.
“What always baffles us was that these cow rustlers always stole our cows in the night and even at that they usually escaped without being apprehended by the security operatives,” he said.
Demsa said that all evidences have shown that rustled cows are usually transported in the night and yet the thieves are never apprehended.He called on security operatives to henceforth arrest anyone seen with cows in the night as a genuine herdsman cannot transport cows in the night.
In his words, “Whenever cows are rustled we always trace their footsteps to the side of the road from where they are shipped into awaiting vehicles that carry them away.”
He said in the last one year alone, more than 1,500 herds of cattle have been stolen across the state and considering the cost of a cow, the losses suffered by the herdsmen is running into billions of Naira which is a great economic loss.
He believes that cow rustling is an organized and syndicated activity as a result of which the crime is defying any panacea saying that such activities usually demand strong will of the government to combat.He called on the government to deploy more security men into the bushes to assist the herdsmen secure their ancestral trade.
“For any potent measure in addressing the issue of cow rustling to be effective, government must ensure the deployment of security personnel to the bush as security personnel are mostly deployed into the towns,” he said.
In his contribution, a renowned agriculturalist in Adamawa ,Alhaji Maijimilla Buba said that apart from food insecurity that will become prevalent if cows continues to be rustled, social security will defy communities affected as mutual suspicion usually between the herdsmen and the communities usually results into a serious crisis between the two sides.
“Part of the issues that usually lead to farmers/herdsman crisis was the failure of the authorities to nip rustling of cows in the bud.
”Usually in the wake of any rustling, mutual suspicion usually emanates between the two sides which in most cases lead to serious clashes between the two sides,” he added.
He added cattle rustling, if not curtailed could enhance food insecurity as the cow dung is usually used on farms to enhance soil fertility and also the meat provides a veritable source of protein which is an essential ingredient for human development.
In the meantime, the spokesman of the Adamawa state police command SP Mohammed Ibrahim when contacted over phone said he could not respond as he was in a meeting and will call later but did not do so as at the time of filing this report.
By Garba Mohammad