Tension has enveloped the Ogboji, Ndiokpalaeze and other neighbouring communities in Orumba South and North Local Government Areas of Anambra State, following the statements credited to the leadership in Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, on the alleged killings of herdsmen and loss of cows.
Meanwhile, there are
conflicting accounts of what transpired in the communities.
Also, the location of the incident was said to be in farmlands bordering several communities and not in Ogboji town as alleged in some media reports. Chairman of MACBAN South East, Alhaji Gidado Sidikki, had alleged that four herdsmen were killed and many cows lost in the incident. Police sources, as well as town unions in the communities, said only one person was confirmed dead, while only two calves and one cow were found killed.
Siddiki, who gave the figures in Awka, said a recent attack on its members took place at Mohammed Idris herder’s settlement located at Ogborji Orumba South LGA of the state, on Saturday, where, according to him, four herdsmen were allegedly killed and many cows missing. He gave the names of those killed as Hadari Umaru, Hamidu Umaru, Aliu Idris and Hassan Idris, claiming that it brought to 21 the number of herders missing between January and March 2021.
He urged the state government and traditional rulers to take action to stem further attacks on his members, regretting a situation whereby Fulani herdsmen were criminalized all over the country. Meanwhile, state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Haruna Mohammed said the Commissioner of Police, Mr Monday Karyas had ordered a full-scale investigation into the attack on herders in Orumba South, assuring that the perpetrators would be arrested and brought to justice.
Confirming the tension in the communities, Chairman of Ogboji Town Union Caretaker Committee, Mr Marcellinus Emechebe, told our source that what they noticed was an invasion of the farmland by unknown gunmen who scared away vigilante groups and people around the communities on Saturday.
He said the town union executives had to call in the Police to intervene when they discovered that one of the herdsmen had been killed. Another community leader in the Ndiokpalaze community, who did not want his name in print told Vanguard that the claims of MACBAN have now sent signals to all the communities of possible reprisal attacks on the various communities by the herdsmen, a situation that prompted security alerts across the communities.
On Saturday, Emechebe had reported the incident to the state government through a letter to the Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy and Town Union Affairs, stating: “Early this morning, gunshots were loud in one of the remote forest/farmland of our community. “The incident was reported to the Divisional Police Officer, Umunze, who was led to the scenes by our vigilante operatives. Two Hausa men joined them and investigated the scenes.
“A corpse was discovered in the first scene while in the second scene two dead calves, one big cow and another with amputated leg were discovered. The Divisional Police has carried away the corpse. ”Following this ugly development, there are palpable fears in the community of reprisal attacks. We are, please, requesting support to reinforce vigilance around the community and environs,” he added.