By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Calabar
CHAIRMAN of Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State, Benjamin Ambe, has raised alarm over the invasion of the area by Fulani herdsmen who were displaced from Benue State, saying that the agrarian communities of the council were now gripped with fear as cattle numbering over 500 have taken over their land.
Ambe who raised the alarm when the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, presented relief materials to the displaced persons at the Utanga camps by the Director General of the agency, Alhaji Muhammed Sami Sidi, said that a range which comprised of about five hundred cattle had invaded all the arable lands leaving the indigenes with little or nowhere to carryout their farming activities this year.
The Council Chairman represented by his Vice Chairman, Deaconess Margaret Achunekang though commended the Federal Government for the prompt response to the plight of the people, observed that the trend was alarming as more of the herds men were still trouping into the communities of Utangha, Bebi and Becheve.
He said unless prompt and practical interventions were made to resolve the crisis and return the Fulanis and their cattle back to their original abode, there would be further humanitarian challenges such as starvation.
Corroborating the Chairman’s position, the Clan head of Utangha, Chief Joseph Suhumba, lamented that their streams and other water sources have been invaded by the cattle and destroyed, leaving the people in serious want.
Responding on behalf of the displaced persons, the spokesman, Alhaji Wahilishi Abdulahi, said that the situation was pitiable and hoped that peace would return so that they could go back to Katsina-Allah in Benue State where they came from.
He appealed to Nigerians to see their professions as contributory to the economy of the country and called for understanding.