Over 4,000 fleeing herders have found their way to communities in Kaduna State, due to the vacation order given to them from some areas in the South-West, particularly in Ondo and Oyo states.
SaharaReporters learnt from a top official in the Kaduna State Government that the influx of the herdsmen may lead to further tension and more crises in some communities in Southern Kaduna which is already a flashpoint.
File Photo: Herdsmen.
“Yes, more than 4,000 herdsmen who fled from the attacks in Ondo, Oyo and Ogun states have found their way back to Kaduna.
“They are in communities of the Kachia Local Government Area. The problem is that there is already tension between the host communities and herdsmen who are mistaken for bandits or some of them who also perpetrate banditry.
“The governor has given an order that any herdsmen caught for banditry should be arrested and prosecuted,” the official said.
The governors of the South-West had on January 25 at a meeting in the Ondo State capital, Akure, banned all forms of open grazing in the region.
The decision was taken during a meeting held with the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria as well as security chiefs.
But the Northern States’ Governors Forum had on Monday confirmed that there were already threats of reprisals in the North over the ongoing eviction notices given to Fulani herdsmen in the South.
“The Fulani herders who are returning may start attacking settlements believed to have people from the South or non-indigenes. So, the influx is a security threat and problem which we are trying to contain,” another source added.
Only on Monday, about 10 people have been reportedly killed and six others wounded in fresh attacks on Unguwar Gajere, in the Birnin Gwari Local Government Area of Kaduna State.
Over 300 people, mostly women and children, were also displaced during the bandits’ invasion of the Unguwar Gajere area.
The bandits had also killed no fewer than 19 people in Kutemeshi in the Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area, leading to more tension in the communities.
Saharareporters, New York