The Plateau State chairman, Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Mohammed Nuru, has dismissed claims by the police and residents that Fulani herdsmen were responsible for the killing of 19 people at Ancha community.
Mr. Nuru also contested the statement by the Plateau State Commissioner of Police, Peter Ogunyanwo, who has now been transferred out of Plateau State, who had also indicted the Fulani herdsmen.
It will be recalled that the police boss after visiting scene of the incident told journalists during a press conference that the attack was carried out by suspected Fulanis.
"The police commissioner is telling lies. The statement by the police commissioner is capable of igniting another fresh crisis. On what basis will he say it was Fulani who attacked and killed people in Ancha? Has there been any arrest of any Fulani man responsible for the attack?"
He said the police boss should be investigated for trying to cause mischief.
Reacting to the alleged killing of a Fulani boy which had reportedly sparked the attacks, he said three of the suspects believed to have decapacitated the boy are now on the run.
"It is not true that the killing of the Fulani boy caused the crisis. We have a cordial relationship with Ancha community. We were accusing "Dantanko" people for the death of the Fulani boy. As law abiding people, we intimated the police on the death of our kinsman and five people were arrested in connection to the killings but three major suspects are still on the run. So, how could the Fulani have attacked Ancha community," he said.
Mr. Nuru said Fulanis living around Ancha community are peaceful and would not contravene the law.
"We suffered casualties in the attack, two of our boys were believed to have been killed, one Bashir Salisu and Abdulrazak Adamu have been missing since last Friday till today (Wednesday). Some unknown persons shot dead nine cows belonging to Fulanis around Ancha that same Friday night," Mr. Nuru explained.
The Joint Task Force in Plateau on Monday announced that five persons suspected to be responsible for the Plateau killings were killed in shoot-out. A soldier also died during the incident, the force said.
The identity of the suspects were not provided.