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More confusion in Benue as herdsmen order 5,000 residents out of their homes

…As Ebonyi reads riot act for Fulani Herdsmen

In total defiance to the prevailing Anti-open grazing law now in place in Benue State, armed Fulani herdsmen have allegedly ordered about five thousand residents of Mbatoho community out of their homes.

This is as the Ebonyi State government has outlawed Fulani herdsmen and their cattle from entering communities in Ivo Council Area of the state following a clash between suspected Fulani herders and a farmer in Akaeze community which left the farmer fatally injured.

Chief David Umahi, Ebony State governor, also banned herdsmen from entering the state from other states, pointing out that night grazing in all parts of the state was prohibited.

He said that unless such herdsman secured the permission of the Ardos of the two points of expected movement areas, as well as the village heads of the receiving community, such movement was outlawed.

Umahi made the pronouncement during an emergency security meeting involving the state government and the Fulani herdsmen at the Exco Chambers, Government House, Abakaliki.

Still in Benue, it was gathered that the armed herdsmen did not shoot anyone, neither did they initially burn houses; they simply ordered the over five thousand residents to move out of the island.

Mbatoho community is a suburb of Makurdi, the Benue State capital.

It was, however, learnt that the herdsmen later torched their farms, houses, and barns.

The State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Awoseni, confirmed the report, adding that report of the incident just got to him.

Business Hiligfhts gathered that the residents had marched to Government House, Makurdi, to state their predicament.

The state Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, received the displaced persons on behalf of government.

Explaining before the Deputy Governor, John Terhemen said the herdsmen invaded the community and forced them out of their homes.

According to him, “There are over 5,000 people in the community. The herdsmen, who were fully armed with sophisticated weapons, in the early hours of yesterday stormed our community (Mbatoho) and ordered everyone to leave.

“The herdsmen came in their numbers, burnt down our houses, barns and farmland, but they did not harm anyone, they only asked us to leave,” Terhemen maintained.

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