There was tension in Abaomege village in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State following a recent clash between herdsmen and residents of the community.
Citizens’ Advocate gathered that the herdsmen traveling with cows numbering over 2000 allegedly clashed with the people of the community resulting in the injury of two persons, loss of a motorcycle and a wounded cow.
It was gathered that both Abaomege people and the herdsmen have accused each other of promoting the clash, even as efforts were being made to settle the looming crisis.
The Coordinator of Ukaba Development Centre in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi state, Hon. Prince John Elom, accused the herdsmen in area of not complying with the directive of the state government of profiling.
He alleged that during the clash, there was shooting, destruction of crops, adding that they also disrupted a traditional marriage that was holding in the community.
He said, “As a matter of fact, when I came on board, I inaugurated a committee in charge of settling dispute between farmers and herdsmen but the herdsmen have refused to cooperate with us and have also rejected profiling. There is an existing memorandum between the herdsmen and the state government on the migration of cattle.”
“But what happened recently as I was reliably informed was that the herdsmen were migrating from Calabar to Kogi state. The first time I am hearing about such migration. They were having about 2000 cattle and at Abaomege, they had little misunderstanding with our people.”
“They were destroying crops along the road. And at that moment, there was pandemonium. After that, they ran into crowds that were doing traditional marriage at Amaoffia. They had a problem there and our people were attacked and they were shootings.”
“The herdsmen collected one of the motorcycles of the people. Their cows scattered. One of the cows got injured inside a gutter and refused to move. According to source, they used their poisonous knife to slaughter the cow and left it there. I called the villagers to order and asked them not to eat the cow.”
“I had to report to the relevant agencies. At the end of the day, one of the herdsmen who claimed to be their leader reported to the police in Abaomege with the motorcycle. He alleged that five of their cows were missing. I invited them to have a face-to-face discussion but they ran away. Two of our boys were injured”, he stated.
On his part, Ibrahim Idris, the leader of Miyetti Allah in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi state in a telephone interview told journalists that there was a clash between herdsmen and the people of Abaomege and their cows were injured.
He alleged that three cows belonging to the Fulani herdsmen were wounded and undisclosed sum of money was collected from one of the herdsmen, even as he denied the fact that anyone was injured in the clash, adding that no motorcycle was collected from the people.
Idiris said that the matter was being settled and pointed out that the herdsmen and the people had attended a security meeting with security agents to ensure the matter was settled amicably within the shortest period of time.