By Vincent Ujumadu, Awka
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, claimed yesterday that four of its members were killed and17 others missing in Anambra Stare from January to date.
The South-East zonal chairman of the association, Alhaji Gidado 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 local government area 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 said: “In the early hours on Saturday, one of the escaped herders called me and told me that some unknown gunmen in a Hilux vehicle invaded Mohammed Idris Herder’s Settlement, shooting sporadically, which led to the death of our four members and hundreds of cows scattered all over the area.
“Of the four, the police had recovered one corpse after a complaint was launched, while three others were still missing.”
According to him, two herders were killed in a similar manner at Ishiagu in the Ivo local government area of Ebonyi State.
Siddiki added: “ Until the recent attacks, members, Miyetti Allah Association had enjoyed cordial relationships with their host communities in the state and the entire South-East.
“The Fulani people in the South-East are not violent and we are not here to undermine the business of the people of the area. We are here to transact business and not to foment trouble.
” I have been taking records of herders that come into the South-East zone as a way of checkmating them and their activities.
“My members are law-abiding people under my watch. So I am surprised that they could be killed unjustly like that.”
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.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Mr Haruna Mohammed said the Commissioner of Police, Mr Monday Karyas has ordered a full-scale investigation into the attack on herders in Orumba South, assuring that the perpetrators would be arrested and brought to justice.
A statement by the police read: “The Command, in collaboration with the state government and other security agencies, is doing everything possible, from advocacy, sensitization, investigation, proactive patrols and stop and search, recovery of arms, use of ADR through Cattle Menace Committee initiated by the state government to curb farmers/herders clash with the Commissioner of Police as chairman.
“The latest was the security summit on Tuesday last week involving various stakeholders, including His Excellency, Governor Willie Obiano, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police DIG Joseph Egbunike, traditional rulers, presidents general of town unions, vigilante groups, youth leaders, etc.
“The command is aware of government support and commitment to peace in the state and will continue to sustain efforts to fish out and punish criminal elements in the state without reservations.
“The CP has ordered a full-scale investigation into the latest attack on herders in Orumba South and the perpetrators when arrested, will be brought to justice.
“The Command assures all and sundry of the renewed commitment of the Police in securing lives and property of all living in Anambra State.”