A week after a violent clash occurred between herders and farmers in Fulata, Taura Local Government Area in Jigawa State, both groups have continued to trade blame.
The Fulanis allege their houses and property were damaged by farmers in the community but the farmers claim they were the ones attacked by armed ‘invading herders’ last week Friday.
Fulata community shares a border with Ringim local government in Jigawa North-west senatorial district.
The Fulanis, who were displaced from Fulata community are reportedly taking refuge with their relatives in Hadejia, Gumel, and Kirikassama local government areas in the state.
They claim their cows were also rustled during the violence.
The Sarkin Fulani in Taura, Sabo Ali, told reporters that many of his people were injured “and have run to Kano for safety”.
Mr Ali said, “we are yet to ascertain how many people were killed or injured because many are still missing after the attack and over a hundred are taking refuge at my residence.
“I received ‘hundreds of Fulanis’ including women and children at 2 a.m. who fled the crisis. I call on my children and other Fulanis to be calm and avoid the crisis area.
“I notified the district head of Taura, the police and council chairman about the happening, the authorities pleaded with me to douse the tension to avoid retaliatory attack, we complied and urged the authorities to do the needful.”
But the village head of Fulata community, Muhammad Sule, whose residents are mostly farmers, alleged they were attacked by “some strange herders allegedly invited by the resident herders and these encroached on the farmland of one Hamza which resulted to the violent clash”.
He said the residents then “seized and impounded some livestock to the palace of the district head, which later compounded the crisis.”
“The Fulanis in ‘their thousands’, armed with dangerous weapons, attempted to invade the farmers community but we overpowered them and chased them away,” Mr Sule said.
Read also: Rice farmers urge Nigerian govt to sustain border closure
He said before the Friday crisis, “there were misunderstandings between the farmers and herders”.
“We reported the incident five times to divisional police officer (DPO) but the police didn’t take any action to prevent the Fulanis from destroying our farms.
“The DPO told us he cannot dare Fulani because they are violent in nature. As result of the crises, four residents from Hausa community are severely injured and are currently responding to treatment at the hospital.”
‘Victims’ recount ordeal
A victim, Hassan Sabo, told reporters that his aged parents are still missing, including nine cows.
“I just found my five-year-old daughter, walking naked in another community. I am still searching for my wife and parents.”
Another victim, Yakubu Husseini, narrated his experience.
“I was at home with my aged parents when the farmers in their hundreds attacked our houses,” he said. “I came out. Some of the attackers suggested to others to kill me while others are (were) against it. They left me. I manage to escape.
“I made several distress calls. However, I met another set of attackers. They hit me with machete and took me to the village head in a pool of blood.”
Meanwhile, the Jigawa police spokesperson, Abdu Jinjiri, said 10 persons were injured while no arrest has been made.
He said no one died adding that normalcy had been restored in the community “following the police commissioner’s visit to the area.”
He also said the police cannot speak on the damages alleged as the government had constituted a community to assess this.