Cattle rustling has become one of the major crimes facing the country and despite all efforts put forward towards tackling the menace, the crime continues to thrive. EJIKE EJIKE, in this report, writes on how the Nigeria Police dislodged some of these rustlers in Abuja.
Worried by the continuous activities of cattle rustlers across the country, especially in the northern parts of the country, a gallant team of police operatives attached to Kwali Divisional Headquarters on patrol in a Kwali village, dislodged and recovered one pump action gun, two live cartridges, 109 cows and 29 sheep from a dare- devil armed robbery syndicate which specialises in cattle rustling.
The syndicate which was reported to have rustled some cows and sheep from a community in Niger State were intercepted in a Kwali village on April, 26, 2017 at an ungodly time of about 1:00am, where a fierce gun battle ensued between them and the police patrol team.
The FCT Police PRO, DSP AnjuguriManzah, who confirmed the report said, “As a result of the professionalism, gallantry and superior gun power of the police patrol team, one of the hoodlums was shot dead while five of his accomplices fled the scene with varying degree of bullet wounds.”
Also, the commissioner of police FCT, CP Musa Kimo who commended the police operatives for their bravery and gallantry that led to the dislodging of the notorious cattle rustling syndicate, ordered for a massive manhunt for the fleeing suspects.
It could be recalled that the Nigerian Army also recovered about 300 cattle from rustlers in various parts of Zamfara.
Brig.-Gen. GinikanwaNwosu, Commander, 1 Brigade, who disclosed this, when he addressed newsmen said “the recovery was part of the myriad of successes recorded by the military in the fight against cattle rustling, kidnappings and other forms of armed banditry.
“We are recovering an average of 500 cattle from the rustlers weekly and we will sustain the tempo,” he said.
Nwosu further revealed that the military recently deployed more troops to various parts of Zamfara State to reinforce the fight against cattle rustling, kidnappings and armed banditry.
According to him, “Though there are some isolated cases of cattle rustling and kidnappings for ransom, the ugly situation will soon be history. We are doing all we can to combat the menace and very soon the situation there will be pacified.”
Recall that the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris, had inaugurated a 27-member implementation committee on the curtailment of cattle rustling in the country.
Inaugurating the committee in Abuja, IGP Idris charged its members to come up with policies and strategies to enable the police stamp out the menace of cattle rustling in the country. According to him, “I believe with proper coordination and synergy the problem of cattle rustling will be a thing of the past in Nigeria.”
He said the setting up of the committee was overdue, adding that cattle rustling and kidnapping were part of security challenges confronting the country.
With the enactment and enforcement of these laws, we will stamp out cattle rustling in Nigeria,” he said.
The police boss said that the standing committee was expected to advise the police from time to time on how to tackle cattle rustling.
The assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Force Animal Branch, Charles Ugomuoh, said that the committee would in exercise of its functions, set up other committees as the need arises.
The members of the committee in partnership with the police had the capacity to stamp out cattle rustling in Nigeria.
“This inauguration is a bold step on the police community partnership and collaboration for enhancement of community policing in Nigeria,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the members, GarbaSharubutu, pledged the commitment of the members in discharging their responsibilities based on the committee’s terms of reference. Ande urged the members to remain committed to the task assigned to them.
“We need to remain committed to our motherland and nothing will stop us from achieving result,” he said.
Also, part of the efforts made by the police to tackle this menace was the deployment of security dogs to remote and flash points areas of the country as part of efforts to curtail cattle rustling and boost the security situation in the country.
This move, according to the police, is expected to help combat this type of crime in the country.
According to AIG Charles Ugomoh, the IGP had approved the strategy, among others, that will curb cattle rustling.
“The Nigeria Police Force is giving zero tolerance to cattle rustling in Nigeria and, as part of its effort, the IGP, in furtherance to other machineries put in place, has approved the implementation of the communiqué for the curtailment of cattle rustling.
“With the acquisition and commissioning of three fully powered air conditioned dog trailers, the K9 operations would now be extended to remote areas and other flash points in the country to fight crime and criminality and to facilitate the Nigeria Police Force’s zero tolerance for cattle rustling,” he stated.
Speaking on the importance of dogs to security, the AIG said: “Today, we are witnessing a new trend of terrorism and other organised crimes. Trained dogs are indispensable in the deployment and sniffing of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), narcotics, arms and ammunition, airport luggage compartment, among others. Dogs have proven to be dynamic and, when well-trained, use their natural odour instincts to march down the tide of crime and criminalities.”