The Cross River State Branch of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria has debunked rumours that Fulani herdsmen were planning to attack residents of Obanliku Local Government Area of the state.
The Chairman of the association, Alhaji Hassan Abo, who spoke with newsmen on Wednesday in Calabar, described the rumour as “devilish and wicked’’.
Abo said that cattle breeders in Obanliku had been living peacefully with residents of the local government over the years, adding that the unity should not be destroyed with fake rumour.
“It is not true that Fulani herdsmen are planning to attack any community in Obanliku Local Government or any other area in the state.
“As an umbrella body of the breeders association, we want to state clearly that we are peace loving people, residing here in Cross River State.
“We urge government and the security agencies to bring any one found wanting to book. I want to applaud Gov. Ben Ayade for his efforts in protecting lives and property of all residents in the state.
Alhaji Yusuf Usman, the Chief Imam of Obudu Mosque, a nearby local government to Obanliku, said in a telephone interview that the rumour got to them late on July 17.
Usman said that the information, which had caused panic in the area, had reduced the distance breeders go with their cattle to search for pasture.
“Due to the rumour, we are now scared. Some cattle breeders can no longer move freely because members of the community are now seeing them as their enemies.
“The rumour that Fulani herdsmen are planning to attack them is false. Obudu and Obanliku Local Governments are very close and I want to state clearly that we have no such plan against our host communities.
“I wish to assure the state government and security agencies that we will not allow breakdown of law and order from our members in this area,’’ he said.
The Commissioner of Police in Cross River, Mr Hafiz Inuwa, also told newsmen that the rumour was false.
“The state police command and the security adviser to Gov. Ayade have been on alert since we received the information.
“The information is not true. It is a rumour. People should stop peddling such fake rumours. I am very happy that the area is calm and peaceful.
“I want to advise people to turn away from spreading such rumours because it will not do us any good,’’ he said.
A resident of Obanliku, Mr Paul Achu, told pressmen on telephone that the rumour caused panic in the area, adding however, that his community was safe with people going about their normal businesses. (NAN)