The Plateau State chapter of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) has disclosed that Fulani herders have no plan of carrying out a reprisal attack on any community over the recent killings of two herdsmen and more than 300 of their cows.
There have been fear by some communities in Plateau that Fulani herders would carry out a reprisal attack for the killing of more than 300 cattle on April 29.
The umbrella body of the group made the disclosure on Wednesday through its state chairman, Nura Abdullahi, during a press conference held in Jos.
This is the second time the group is calling for a meeting after the incident.
On April 29, state police spokesperson, Tyopev Terna, confirmed that 319 cows were killed while two herders were missing, following the killing of two persons in villages of Bassa Local Government Area.
In a statement read by the chairman during the conference, he said, “It is a baseless rumour that we are planning any reprisal attack on any person.
“We have held meetings where we invited our people. The Commander of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), Major General Augustine Agundu, was in attendance.”
“We cautioned our members not to take the law into their hands.”
Mr Abdulahi alleged that some Irigwe armed bandits of Kwal, Maiyanga, and Ariri villages of Kwal district, Bassa LGA, and other criminal elements killed Shehu Saedu and Mubarak Adamu without any provocation and buried them in shallow graves, an allegation that was denied by the leader of the group, David Chinge.
“These innocent people were on their lawful business of rearing their cows in Dogon Gaba village, a general area where there are neither villages nor farmlands,” he said.
“The attack is a continued conspiracy against the economy of the Fulani community, where their cows are continuously attacked and killed.”
He added that in March, 137 of their cows were killed.
“These callous acts have continued fuelling the conflict in Plateau State, which the government of the state and people of goodwill are trying their best to resolve but unfortunately some disgruntled elements are sabotaging their efforts,” he said.
The chairman, however, appreciated the efforts of security agencies, urging that farmers and pastoralist should always be encouraged to settle their grievances by themselves and avoid as much as a possible third party outside their communities.
The North Central Chairman of MACBAN, Danladi Chiroma, on his part during the conference said they have been urging their people to allow the government and security agents to do their work.
“The method we are applying to please our people now is by contributing cows to them so that they can have something doing. We have called a lot of Fulani and they are cooperating, while we wait and see what the government will do,” he said.
Mr Chiroma said the crisis in Plateau State has lasted for too long, urging that, “it is about time we all decide to leave in peace and we will not allow the merchants of evil return us to the past dark days.”