Residents flee Adamawa communities over rumoured herdsmen attacks

Posted by Haslon Freedom and Ronke Sanya | 25 November 2017 | 2,473 times

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•Armed herdsmen

The tension of reprisal attack has ravaged four villages in Numan Local Government Area of Adamawa State as the villagers are deserting their homes.

Residents of communities which include Kikan, Kwodomti, Shafaran and Ketwul have abandoned their homes, seeking safety elsewhere due to rumoured attack by Fulani herdsmen.

The fleeing residents, who spoke with Channels Television correspondent, said some Fulani herdsmen were spotted lurking around their communities after recent clashes between the group and farmers
which led to the loss of lives and animals. They alleged that the herdsmen were armed and planning a reprisal attack.

They hinge their fear on the killing of a farmer by suspected herdsmen resulting in a reprisal attack on the Fulani herdsmen's settlement by the farming communities of Shafaron, Kodomti and Kikan.

However, the herdsmen denied the allegation. One of them accused the farming communities of killing their children and animals.

An herdsman, Isa Ardo said: “They killed 51 of our people, including women and children without any reason and slaughtered our cattle and sheep. We suspect them to be cattle rustlers.”

Isaac Michael, one of the residents, insisted that the herdsmen were the cause of the attack. He explained that the crisis started when a farmer was attacked by the herdsmen after he questioned them for invading his farm.

When Channels Television visited one of the affected communities in Kikan, the village was deserted. There were, however, few people keeping watch alongside a platoon of soldiers drafted to the area to
prevent escalation of the crises.

One of them who gave the reason why they were leaving said they had no choice but to abandon their homes due to fear of attack by the herdsmen. A resident of Kikan village, Zamba Patrick said: “Fulani
people came to attack us with guns. They were shooting into the air.
We don’t know what happened exactly. This is our village. It’s the herdsmen that are travellers.”

The Commissioner of Police in Adamawa State, Moses Jitoboh, who was on the entourage of the Deputy Governor during the visit to the hospital in Numan, explained that the clash was as a result of misunderstanding between the herdsmen and the farmers.

“It was a case whereby farmers and herdsmen had a misunderstanding. One farmer was killed and there was reprisal. which led to what we are seeing now. Lives have been lost and there is nothing we can do about that. Those who are still alive, it is our duty to protect them,” Jitoboh said.

He assured that the government would fish out the perpetrators of the attack, urging them not to take the law into their hands.

The paramount ruler of Bachama Kingdom, His Majesty Homun Stephen, the Hama Bachama described the clash as unfortunate. “Any loss of life within my kingdom is a loss to me as a monarch,” he said.

He blamed the incident on security lapses. According to him, if security operatives had taken proactive action the crises would have been averted. He also denied reports that the attack was religious.

“I have always mentioned the presence of security. By the time I contacted the security operatives and the Chairman of the local government to do what they needed to do, there was no response that would have deterred it,” Stephen said.

Source: News Express

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