Security agencies seem to be rattled over a death threat issued by the Emir of Muri in Taraba State, Alhaji Abbas Njidda Tafida, against criminal Fulani herdsmen.
The Emir had issued a 30-day ultimatum to criminal herders to vacate the forests within the state or be forced out over atrocities linked to them.
A spokesperson of one of the security services told PRNigeria that the outburst of the emir created tension in the security circle because of its implications.
The spokesperson who pleaded anonymity said that the Emir should have provided intelligence to security services on those allegations for possible actions.
“You know we respect traditional rulers a lot and take their statements seriously. We expected that the first-class emir should have availed us of information available to him that indicated the rising cases of kidnappings, killings, and attacks in the state are linked to the criminal herders occupying the forests for appropriate actions.
“Our fear is that the threat by the Emir could trigger jungle justice and reprisal attacks between the citizens and herders which could aggravate the current situation,” the security officer said.
During the Islamic prayers to mark this year’s Eid-el-Kabir celebration, Alhaji Njidda-Tafida warned Fulani herdsmen in the forest to desist from kidnappings, raping and killings otherwise the people would draw the battle line and kill every forest-based Fulani man they encounter.
In a video obtained by PRNigeria, the visibly shaking and angry Emir, who is also Fulani said if the criminal herdsmen refused to heed his warning, they would not spare anyone they catch.
“We will not ask of his name or mission we will just kill him. There is no way one bastard will inhabit the forest only to keep coming to kidnap us for ransom, rape our women and kill our people.”
He berated a situation where culpable individuals have been left off the hook by security personnel.
“We have seen a district head conniving with these criminals. He was caught. The police released him on bail and he came back to your midst. Isn’t this madness?” he queried.
“From now henceforth anyone caught in town conniving with these criminals, we will kill his mother, kill his father and brothers,” he threatened annoyingly.
He warned that they will not tolerate police granting bail to kidnappers and their co-conspirators, otherwise they would take laws into their hands.
“There is no way we will keep having sleepless nights in our own homes. The poverty we are contending with is enough for us to deal with,” he said.
Reacting after the Eid prayers, the minister of power, Saleh Mamman, said the government is doing its best to tackle the security situation and have recorded a lot of progress in the past weeks.
He called on Nigerians to continue to support President Muhammadu Buhari in the fight against insurgency, banditry and other forms of criminality.