The attention of the Benue State Livestock Guards has been drawn to a publication in the Blueprint newspaper of Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 wherein the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 707 Special Forces Brigade, Major Olabisi Ayeni alleged that a member of the Benue State Livestock Guards has been arrested in Ukum Local Government Area by ‘Exercise Cat Race’ for cattle rustling and gun running.
We wish to state categorically that the Benue State Government established the Livestock Guards but does not arm them. The arrested suspect is not a member of the State Livestock Guards. It is therefore misleading to insinuate that a member of the organisation has been caught with arms.
Livestock Guards of the state do not carry weapons and their role is to help conventional security agencies in the implementation of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017.
We therefore find the statement credited to Major Ayeni as a fabrication and deliberate attempt to find a reason to blame the Benue State Government for sponsoring militia.
We also wish to make it clear that members of the Benue State Livestock Guards do not engage in any form of cattle rustling. Instead, the Livestock Guards, since establishment of the organisation, have contributed greatly in preventing cases of cattle rustling in different parts of the state according to section 20 of the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State.
We urge the public to disregard the allegation in its entirety as it is part of the conspiracy to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it.
Alhaji Aliyu Tershaku
Benue State Livestock Guards.
27th February, 2018.