30 October 2017

Nigeria: Six Feared Killed in Farmers, Herdsmen Clashes in Adamawa

Photo: Daily Trust

At least six people were reportedly killed in separate clashes between farmers and herdsmen in Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State.

The first incident occurred on Wednesday when some herdsmen damaged a farm in Sangere, a suburb of Yola, the Adamawa State capital.

Witnesses said a security guard named Gibson Nathan who was engaged by the owner of the farm challenged the herders for encroaching on the farm.

They responded by "attacking and killing him," a resident of the area said.

The resident also said the herders "hacked Nathan to death with their sharp axes beyond recognition before leaving the scene"

Similarly, four members of the same family were reportedky attacked and killed in their farm by some herdsmen on Friday at Tudun-Hassan Village, adjacent to the popular Malkohi IDP's Camp also in Yola South Local Government Area.

Trouble began for the farmers when a group of herdsmen led their cattle Into the farm and began destroying the farm products.

"By the time they asked the rearers what informed their illegal action, the next thing was physical assault using dangerous weapons which resulted to their untimely deaths," a witness, Baba Abdul, said.

He alleged that a policeman who was living close to the farm "rushed to offer help but was also killed by the herdsmen."

PREMIUM TIMES could not independently verify the killing of the policeman.

In yet another attack, a group of herdsmen led their cattle into a farm at Tashan Jinga Village also in Yola South Local Government.

Residents, however, said the farmers sent a distress call to Agro-Rangers unit of the Nigeria Security And Civil Defence Corps,NSCDC, Adamawa State command.

The NSCDC team who arrived the scene were allegedly attacked with poisonous arrows by the herdsmen.

A witness said the bullets fired by the security agents appeared not to penetrate the herdsmen, adding "the situation made the defence corps to retreat back for re-enforcement but one officer had already sustained serious injury as a result of multiple cuts he received."

He also said "the Toyota Hilux vehicle used in the operation was badly smashed by the herdsmen while one of their rifle was carted away by the herdsmen in the quagmire".

Confirming the incident, spokesperson of the NSCDC in the state, Suleiman Baba, said, "It was true that our men on rescue operation were attacked by some herdsmen along Yola area on Saturday.

"The Agro-Rangers were ambushed on their way to the troubled farm. They (herdsmen) laid attack even before our men can take positions.

"During this fierce battle, two officers were injured and one was beaten with sticks and macheted and is being hospitalised at Yola Specialist Hospital," he said.

On the missing rifle, Mr. Baba said one of their rifle "got missing" during the fight but was quick to add that "two of the suspects were apprehended" and that the missing rifle "will surely come out in due course."

However, the spokesperson of the Adamawa Police Command, Othman Abubakar, said although he was aware of Mr. Nathan's killing, he is yet to be officially briefed on the other incidents.

Mr. Abubakar said he is only aware of a clash between farmers and herders in Yolde-patte, also a suburb of Yola, where, he said, the police arrested over two hundred cows that destroyed some farms.

He said owners of the cattle had already agreed to pay for the damages caused by their animals.

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