The skirmish involving farmers and cattle rearers at Galtum village in Ganye Local Government Area of Adamawa State has claimed the lives of nine people in the area.
An eye witness confirmed to THISDAY that nine people lost their lives in the clash, alleging that the possibility that the death profile would be on the increase was inevitable, as the search for missing persons was still ongoing as at the time of filing this report.
According to the eyewitness, the cattle rearers had allegedly encroached a farm land belonging to one of the farmers residing in Galtum village, when the owner of the farm accosted the herdsmen on why his crops were destroyed, which eventually led to a brawl that led to the death of the farmer.
On hearing the news of the death of the farmer, others farmers were said to have teamed up for a reprisal, while the herdsmen also teamed up in anticipation to confront the farmers.
Speaking on the incident, Secretary of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the state, Usman Liman, said they were yet to ascertain the number of deaths recorded during the incident.
He claimed that the disagreement between the two parties occurred as a result of the dispute between Chamba residents, who were mostly farmers and Fulani residents, who were pastoralists, following alleged destruction to farmlands by cattles.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the state command, Mohammed Ibrahim, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), confirmed that it was unfortunate despite the fact that the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Ganye local government area had reported the issue to the command's headquarters in the state, the feud still claimed lives.
The spokesman also disclosed that many people were arrested in connection to the skirmishes adding that investigation was still ongoing, stressing that: "As soon as it is completed, the culprits will be taken to the courts for further action."
Ibrahim said in anticipation of the recurrent conflict between farmers and herdsmen, the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Godfrey Okeke, on assumption of duty, had advised all the DPO's to form a peace committee comprising herdsmen and farmers in order to curtail the incessant conflict between the two sides.
The initiative, according to him, had started yielding results even as he expressed concern over the recent development, which he said, was a cog in the wheel of progress.