The National Economic Council (NEC) yesterday said the deadly attacks that often trail clashes between herdsmen and farmers in parts of the country are beyond Fulani.
The council said this in Abuja during a meeting presided over by Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo.
The governor of Benue state, Gabriel Suswam, who spoke to State House journalists after the meeting, said the council upheld the belief that the Fulani were never as heavily armed as those behind the attacks.
Suswam said the NEC observed that those behind the attacks were either parading themselves as Fulani or they were people from several displaced areas.
The governor added that the council also observed that the assailants were people from unknown destinations whose mission was yet to be understood.
“Today at the National Executive Council meeting, a comprehensive discussion was made in the council and the governors of Delta and Edo States said that people came into their states in trucks without cattle. Cattle grazers move around with cattle, but these insurgents now come to town in their large numbers and in trailers’ loads. The governor of Kogi State also confirmed that they’ve cordoned an area because these people came in four trucks. They’ve asked security to cordon them.
“It is actually a cause for concern because mercenary have taken over.
What is happening is that this is beyond the Fulani that we know and who are part of us. These are different crops of people who are either parading as Fulani or people who are from displaced areas because they’re heavily armed. The Fulani around us here are never heavily armed. Even their (the killers’) women carry AK47. So these are not the regular Fulani we are used to who are within our country. These are people moving into our country with a mission we are yet to know.
“But the National Security Adviser (NSA) assured us that serious actions are being taken to address and contain these people who are moving into Nigeria from destinations that we do not even know”, he said.
Speaking further, Suswam said the three soldiers that were recently arrested by youths in Benue State were not insurgents, noting that the insurgents were in military uniforms most times.