Suspected Fulani herdsmen in the early hours of Monday allegedly invaded Mbatoho community in Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
Mbatoho community is a council ward located on an Island in Makurdi town.
The community leader, who identified himself as John Tehemen, led a few other residents to lodge a complaint with the state’s Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, saying that the herdsmen had ordered them to vacate their homes.
He said, “Herdsmen who were fully armed with sophisticated weapons in the early hours of yesterday (Monday) invaded our community, Mbatoho, and ordered everyone to leave. The herdsmen came in large numbers but they did not harm anyone; they only asked us to leave.”
He gave the population of the community to be about 5,000.
Responding, the deputy governor said the government had just received the information from the community, adding that he had ordered the security adviser, Paul Hemba, to go and verify the claim.
When asked whether the state government was not worried that herdsmen might use the place to attack the state, Abounu said the government would determine the next line of action after it must have established the true story.
When contacted on the telephone, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, told one of our correspondents that he had just received the report.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the Ondo State House of Assembly, Mr. Bamidele Oloyeloogun, said herders invaded his farm and their cows destroyed his maize plantation.
Oloyeloogun said this during the South-West Legislative Reform meeting of all the six state Houses of Assembly from the geopolitical zone held in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Tuesday.
At the meeting of the South-West legislators, where problems facing the geopolitical zone were discussed, the Ondo speaker said there was a need for the stakeholders to tackle the menace of the herdsmen before it got out of hand.
He said, “The issue of farmer/herdsmen’s crisis is critical. It is disheartening that farmers are no longer free to go to their farmlands. Something urgent must be done before it goes out of hand.
“I went to my farm yesterday (Monday ), when I got there I saw that all the maize I planted had been destroyed by cows of the herdsmen and after finishing there they moved away.”