BY SUNNY A. DAVID
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, the South-East Chapter on Sunday alleged that no fewer than 21 herdsmen were missing in Anambra Stare from January to date.
Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, the Zonal Chairman of the Association, stated this at a press briefing in Awka, the Anambra State capital.
Alhaji Siddiki said a recent attack on its members took place at Mohammed Idris Herder’s Settlement located at Ogborji in the Orumba South Local Government Area of the State, on Saturday, where four herdsmen were allegedly killed and hundreds of cows missing.
Said he: “The four herders killed made it up a total number of 21 of our members killed in the State between January and early March 2021” The Zonal Chairman gave the names of the victims as, Hadari Umaru, Hamidu Umaru, Aliu Idris and Hassan Idris.
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 with red caps, 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.”
Alhaji Siddiki said out of the four, the Police had recovered one corpse after a complaint was launched while three others were still missing.
The Zonal Chairman said two herders were killed in a similar manner in Ishiagu, Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
He added, “Until the recent attacks, members of 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 taken records of any herder that came 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 why they should be killed unjustly like that.
Alhaji Siddiki called on the Anambra State government and Traditional rulers to take action to stem further attacks on his members.
The Zonal Chairman condemned the way Fulani herdsmen were criminalised all over the Country, stating that the perception was exaggerated.
Reacting, the State Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Haruna Mohammed said the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Monday Karyas “has ordered full-scale investigation into the latest attack on herders in Orumba South and the perpetrators when arrested will be brought to justice.”
Mr. Mohammed stated: “The Command assures all and sundry of the renewed commitment of the Police in securing lives and properties in of all living in Anambra State.
The Command in collaboration with State Government and other security agencies are doing everything possible from advocacy, sensitisation, 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.