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Fulani herdsmen dare land owners, ‘‘we are here for your lands, not your lives and the military can’t help you’’



*As Mbataho Islanders recount ordeal


BENUE- The much talked about influx of herdsmen into Benue state with the coming of the Nigerian Military and sacking of over 5,000 inhabitants of the agrarian Mbataho Island Community has come and gone but the spill over  the overthrow still lingers as  over 5000 members of the community scattered all over Makurdi with virtually nothing on them still linger and hunts us all.

Daily Watch chat with some few elders of the community on their experiences and ordeal was as expository and frightening as expected as they narrated how the herdsmen who came on foot all the way from Guma local government and the Nassarawa borders  set out directly to take over their community as the  over 100 herdsmen asked them all to flee from the community as their mission is not to kill this time as they don’t want for now the world to hear of another massacre but to take over their land and gave they the inhabitants few minutes to vacate the whole Mbataho Island if they want to stay alive.

A community leader Jeremiah Nachiel who spoke to daily Watch also confirm the stories of other refugees as he narrated how the herdsmen armed with heavy rifles and cattle asked them to leave or get killed.

In his words “They came over 80 to a 100 of them with their cattle and weapons from around Guma Local Government and border towns in Nassarawa on foot and stated destroying houses, farmland, and taking over the Primary School which the converted to the abode and headquarters and sent us all pacing warning us that they only this time came for our land and not our lives as not even the Nigerian Military can help us from the hands of the Fulanis’’

Another elder Samuel Dauja who could not hold back tears lamented the atrocities of the herdsmen, according to him “’they were all dressed in black and asked us to run for our lives with just what we putting on and warned us never to return as our land is what they want this time and not our lives as they don’t want the noise that followed their last killings in the state to start all over again till it all dies down, they took over the primary school destroying farmland, farm barns etc and boasting that not even the Military who are in their side can help us”.

Speaking with the state Commissioner for information Lawrence Onoja Jnr he confirmed the flocking of many inhabitants of the Mbataho Island in Makurdi and beg the Military to go get the Fulanis from their land so that the people can return home and also to stop the influx of the herdsmen back in to Benue knowing that there is an existing Anti grazing Law in place in Benue State.


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