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April 14, 2016 • By danielThe Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Taraba State has said no fewer than 50 of its members have been killed in the current crisis between herdsmen and Ndoro people in Gashaka Local Government Area of the State.
The Chairman of MACBAN in the state, Alhaji Sahabi Mahmud, made the assertion at a press conference in Jalingo, Wednesday, in reaction to the claim by the Taraba State Police Command that Fulani herdsmen attacked people of Dori and Maisuma villages.
According to Alh. Mahmud, the situation was rather a misunderstanding between resident herdsmen and farming communities, which arose following the discovery in a bush of a decomposing body of a lady, suspected to be Ndoro.
He said the Ndoro people blamed the herdsmen for the woman’s death and in retaliation, killed over 50 of them.
“As if it was pre-planned, the villagers suddenly resorted to attacking our members, killing about 50 of them while many are still missing and over 3000 cattle were either killed or taken away”, the Chairman said
He stated that after being fully briefed by his branch chairmen in Gashaka, Bali and Kurmi local government areas, he immediately informed the state commissioner of police, Shaba Alkali, and other security agents in the state and called on them to intervene.
Mr. Mahmud, however, expressed regrets that rather than handle the matter as a misunderstanding between the two groups, Mr. Alkali took sides by persecuting the herdsmen, including the arrest of one Ardo Ayuba, who he noted was not even a resident of the affected area.
It would be recalled that the police commissioner issued a press release on Tuesday in which he alleged that a group of people numbering about 20, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, attacked Dori and Maisuma villages on April 10, 2016 and killed 1 person
While condemning the action of the state police command for “branding his members as the culprits”, the Meyetti Allah chairman called on the State Governor, Darius Ishaku to immediately convene a roundtable of all stakeholders for a genuine dialogue with a view to amicably resolving the dispute.