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Violence: IG deploys troops in Benue

Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, has said that four units of riot policemen  from the Force Headquarters have been deployed to tackle the communal crisis in Benue State.

The policemen, numbering about 600 men, are expected to contain the perennial violence between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.

The perennial violence had claimed thousands of lives, especially in Guma Local Government Area of the state.

Abubakar announced this on Monday in Abuja, before holding a closed-door meeting with Assistant Inspectors-General of Police to review the security situations in states having communal crisis.

The IG listed Benue, Plateau, Taraba, Kaduna and part of Zamfara as some of the states in the North, where there are communal clashes, mostly between Fulani herdsmen and farmers.

He said, “As I am talking to you today (Monday), I have four units of mobile policemen right from the headquarters, inside the bush in Benue.

“They are being led by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police (operations) and Commissioner of Police (Mobile Force). They are protecting those innocent people.”

He identified difficult terrain, delay in getting information due to network problem and lack of police presence in those areas as some of the challenges facing security agencies in tackling the clashes.

“These attacks take place inside the bush. Most of the people attacked are in the villages, and sometimes, some of the difficult areas we encounter are the terrain of the places.

“Secondly, information comes to the police very late because of network situation. Remember, most of these places, if you check, there is no existence of police station or posts. So, the commissioner of police in respective commands has to grapple with how to take policemen to such place and how they will remain permanently,’’ he said.

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