Rampaging Fulani herdsmen have attacked and razed down two densely populated settlements – Suwa and Burukutu – in Lamurde local government area of Adamawa State.
Reports from our reporter in Yola, the state capital, indicate that the attacks were carried out by well-armed Fulani herdsmen, who struck at 4a.m. on Sunday and continued to wreck havoc till 8 a.m., leaving the communities in rubbles.
Although details of the incident are still sketchy and casualty figure could not be ascertained yet, a large number of people were reportedly killed while the settlements were completely razed down, residents lucky to escape the attacks told PREMIUM TIMES.
The Adamawa State Police Commissioner, Mark Adamu Idokwo, has visited the affected community, Nemuel Yoila, the police spokesperson said, promising to provide details of the incidence two hours after our correspondent contacted him. He is yet to revert as at the time of this report.
Witnesses say the Fulani herdsmen, numbering over 500 and believed to be on a revenge mission, suddenly descended on the communities and begun to attack residents.
The ruler of Kwah and Gyakan community, who preferred anonymity, said his people were now living in fear, following the attacks on neighbouring Burukutu and Suwa.
He said although casualty figures could not yet be ascertained, reports reaching him indicated several people lost their lives in the attacks.
Hundreds of people have been dislocated from the two communities, renowned as the rice cultivating settlement of the state.
Unconfirmed reports say one mobile police officer was also killed when security agencies tried to repel the Fulani herdsmen.
Rumours had initially filtered through the town that the Fulani herdsmen were planning a reprisal to avenge the attacks on their kith and kin earlier in the year following an orgy of violence that rocked Jimeta, Mubi and Lamurde, with some Fulani herdsmen alleging molestation by their host communities.
However, a government committee set up to look into the remote causes of the violence only recently submitted its report, saying properties worth billions of naira were destroyed in the attacks.
The report urged the government to set up peace and reconciliation committees in the local councils to forestall future occurrences and douse inter-ethnic tension in the areas.