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Tension As Nasarawa Community Rejoice Over Killing Of Fulani Herdsmen By Nigerian Air Force



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Following the killing of over fifty [50] Fulani herdsmen at the Ekye Development Area of Nasarawa State owing to an air strike by the Nigerian Air Force in the early morning hours of January 25, 2023, the members of the immediate surrounding communities have begun to react openly to the killings.

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The joyous reaction was coming amidst differing reactions from the Fulani community and leaders of the Fulani community who have claimed that the killing herders were innocent victims, and not part of the militia that had been rampaging through the community. The Governor of Nasarawa State who had announced that the Nigeria Police Force [NPF] have opened a comprehensive investigation into the incident – also made conclusive statement that the killed young Fulani men were innocent.

Herders massacred in Nasarawa airstrike

But the members of the effected community disagree – indicating that the killed young Fulani men were responsible for the many gruesome acts in the communities. They revealed that the Nigerian Airforce had struck the marauding Fulani young men three times within the last nine months. These ones that were killed by airstrike were coming from the Benue State side where their cows had been seized by security agents owing to the enforcement of the anti-grazing laws in Benue State. Minutes after they returned with their cows, they were struck. He said they were operating in Benue State.

Interestingly, according to the information available to 247ureports.com obtained from members of the Al-waza community and Doma people in general, pointed to the numerous attacks on the indigenous community members by the Fulani “militia” who are also referred to as herdsmen. They indicate that the militia have wreaked havoc on the people and on the farmers repeatedly. “It’s no longer news. You journalists don’t consider these events as news anymore”, said one of the community leaders who explained that the militia have been killing and maiming persons and have repeatedly raped wives in the presence of their children and husbands – without action by the law enforcement agency. The worst hit areas are the Akpanaja and Rukubi border towns of Nasarawa/Benue towns.

One of the victims of the herdsmen attack, Joshua Agabi disclosed to 247ureports.com how he was attacked in his farm. According to him, “I had people shouting for help as I went there to separate them and my hand was chopped off by a Fulani herder”. Another victim from Kututure by name, Christian Ibrahim also explained his ordeal. He said he was passing by when he saw young Fulani boys grazing and destroying millet and guinea corn farm. He pleaded with them to stop the destruction of crops, “when the Fulani boys struck with matchete, they broke all the plastic buckets I carried.

Ibrahim Ashikeni, who is the Chairman of the Association of farmers, also detailed his experience with the herdsmen. He claimed he gruesomely manhandled by Fulani herders. He also expressed concerns on why, over the years, farmers were killed on daily basis and no stringent measures were taken to effect arrest of the perpetrators.  As a result, the farmers in these areas have begun to leave in droves to Taraba and Ofere.

The leaders of the community told our correspondent that the news of the airstrike was received with elation. “Our people have been crying for help for years.”

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