The clashes of farmers and herders over alleged encroachment on farmlands have claimed eight lives of people in Bayo Council of Borno state.
The Council area with a population of over 78, 900, is located 237 kilometres south of Maiduguri, the state capital.
A counter-insurgency expert in the Lake Chad region, Zagazola Makama, yesterday (Friday), in Maiduguri, disclosed: “The people were killed, after an argument of some farmers over their encroachment of farmlands with cattle,” stating that the crops are yet be harvested and evacuated into the granaries.
The suspected herders, last month destroyed
He added that on November 30, 2022, another set of pastoralists encroached and led the cattle eat up the un-harvested crops.
Besides the encroachment, Makama further disclosed: “Several other farmers were also hospitalized,” adding that security agencies were alerted of the clashes.
He noted that the deployment of security personnel stopped the attacks from further spreading to other farmlands in the council.
Several other people were injured in the attack and were taken to local hospitals.
The sources said that Security agencies were alerted and they deployed in the affected area which helped in stopping the attack, otherwise the casualties would have been higher.
“Some arrest have been made so far while other perpetrators were at large,” said the security source in Maiduguri.
Attacks by farmers and reprisal attacks by herders this year; led to loss of lives and property.
The source attributed the incessant farmers-herders clashes to lack of demarcated cattle routes and Rural Grazing Areas (RUGA) in the Northeast.
On November 5, 2022 some herders destroyed farmlands in four communities of Gubio Council in the state.
“In the same period, the herders raided another farm in Kaulilu and injured four farmers after destroying their farmlands,” he said, adding that they also attacked the Civilian JTF, which attempted to stop the encroachment of farmlands in the council area
He noted that the failures of authorities to act, has fueled the escalations of farmers/herders clashes in Gubio, Bayo and Konduga Councils.
Consequently, he said that the State Commissioner of Police, Abdu Umar has summoned a peace meeting between the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Nigeria (MACBAN) and Farmers Associations to resolve the perennial conflict.
Jutha Gupah, Maiduguri
December 2, 2022.