Haruna Usman, chairman of the Kaduna state chapter of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), has alleged that soldiers killed 17 herdsmen in Daile Alkariyo village in Jama’a local government area of Kaduna state, on Monday.
Usman said many herdsmen sustained injuries, while some were arrested. He alleged that over 47 houses belonging to the cattle owners were torched, calling on the military authorities to call them to order.
Usman said trouble started after a farmer was attacked by some persons believed to be herdsmen.
“A farmer was attacked in the community and they invited soldiers to settle the situation,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“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.
“Why should this happen for God’s sake? It is not the indigenes of the area that killed our people, it is the military who killed them.
“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.”
Asked if he had reported the incident to appropriate authorities, he said: “Some hours after the attack, I called the garrison commander to inform him, and he promised to check with the commanding officer of the area, but I have not heard from him since then.”
Contacted, Kingsley Umoh, spokesman 1 division of the Nigerian Army, Kaduna, said he was not aware of the incident.
“I can’t confirm that incident, but I will soon give an update on happenings in southern Kaduna,” he said.
Aliyu Usman, spokesman of the Kaduna state police command, could not be reached for comments, as he did not answer his phone or respond to the text message sent.
However, the army spokesman, Brigadier General Kukasheka Usman, 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.
“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,” he said.
Also, the Nigerian Army has warned herdsmen to desist from dragging it into any propaganda.
“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”, Kukasheka added.