A fresh round of violence between farmers and herders in Kajuru, Kajuru Local Government in Kaduna State has left at least 37 persons dead with scores injured within the last two days.
This is coming barely a week after Miyyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) had blamed foreign herdsmen for the perennial clash between farmers and Fulani herdsmen in the country,
Kajuru is about 50 kilometers away from Kaduna, the State capital.
Assistant National Secretary of MACBAN, Ibrahim Abdullahi, had, at a press conference, blamed alien Fulani herdsmen for the crisis across the country.
However, when contacted, the Acting Police Public Relations Officer, Kaduna Police Command, ASP Yakubu Sabo, said the police is aware of a misunderstanding among some individuals in Kajuru community, which later led to a clash when some people took the laws into their hands.
He said the police and the army have, however, gone to the place and brought the situation under control.
“Not only the police but the joint patrol comprising the police and army are still there and the situation has been brought under control. I spoke with them this afternoon and they confirmed to me they’re still there; there is no way this type of thing will happen and we will just withdraw like that,” he said.
Sabo, however, said the police were yet to confirm the number of casualties. He said: “As soon as I confirm the casualty, I will let you know, but for now, we don’t know.”
It was gathered that the violence was said to have started on Sunday, when some Fulani youths went to a village at Ungwan Uka to avenge the killing of a certain Fulani herdsman said to have been attacked and killed some days back by some Kadara youths at a farm at Banono village.
One of the Kadara youths, who spoke on conditions of anonymity, confirmed the killing, but said the Fulani man who was killed was a known bandit who has been harassing the people of the area and was killed by a mob while trying to escape.
He said when this happened, the matter was explained to the Fulani community leader in the area, who, he said, also knew the man to be a bandit, but their youths insisted on revenge.
“The Chief of Kajuru even called them and spoke with them, but we were surprised that in the early hours of Sunday morning, they came and carried out the attack,” he stated.
It was also learnt that the Fulani youths killed five of the youths they were said to have identified as having a hand in the killing of the Fulani herdsman. But their action was said to have angered the Kadara youths who, in turn, mobilised themselves on Monday and launched an attack on the surrounding Fulani settlements, burning their tents and other property with no fewer than 12 persons killed.
An eye witness, Salisu Mohammed, said after the attack, on Monday, some security agents were drafted to the communities and things calmed down for the period they were around .
He, however, said things got out of hand again when they left the bushes and the Kadara youths launched another attack on the surrounding Fulani settlement and killed no fewer than 10.
“These are the ones whose bodies have been recovered, as I’m talking with you, we don’t know the actual number of casualties as our people are scattered all over running for their dear lives,” he stated.
He said the victims were buried in a mass grave, and while at the site of the burial they also received information to prepare for the burial of another nine whose bodies were recovered at various points in the surrounding bushes.
A Kadara youth, Cafra Cairo, when contacted, said the youths have been restive following the attacks, but said efforts were on by their elders to calm the restive youths as there was tension in the area.
“We’ve heard of several attacks, but when I called people in some of the communities, they said it’s not true,” he said, adding that no fewer than 10 persons, including a seven-month old baby died in the attack