Four herdsmen have reportedly been killed after they allegedly attempted to invade the Mbiabong Ito Community in Odukpani local government area of Cross River state. The Nation reports that the Fulani herdsmen had tried to enter the community with their cattle but were resisted by the people on Tuesday, December 5.
A source in the community claimed that the herdsmen who were armed started shooting but the villagers refused to back down and attacked them back. As a result, four herdsmen reportedly lost their lives. The source claimed that the herdsmen returned with soldiers to try and recover their cattle that had scattered as a result of the confrontation. The villagers reportedly fled after the soldiers started firing when they entered the community. The source said: “The situation created panic and most of the villagers had to escape into the bush. Most of them are yet to return as we speak as they are afraid for their lives.” Irene Ugbo who is the police public relations officer said officers were deployed to the area to maintain peace.
She said: “We have heard about it and right now we have sent men to the area and the area is calm. It is not a bad situation. There are men on ground to make sure nothing happens. We have not been able to confirm yet. That is what we heard.” Meanwhile, the Archbishop, Kaduna Catholic Diocese, Man-oso Ndagoso, raised alarm over the clashes between farmers and herdsmen across the country. The cleric, speaking to journalist on Wednesday, December 6, warned that the clashes could result in the militarising of the country, Sun reports. He said: “When citizens feel unprotected by government, they resort to a militant society. This is not good for us. “People run away and abandon their homes when the see militants carrying arms. We cannot survive a militant society.”