The umbrella organisation of Fulani herdsmen, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria on Tuesday demanded the head and other body parts of one of their colleagues who was killed and beheaded during a clash with farmers in Ugala, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The herdsman, identified simply as Buba, was killed during a clash between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the community on Sunday. Many others were wounded.
The Vice Chairman of the MACBAN, Abdurrahman Abdul made the demand when he led a delegation of herdsmen on a visit to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone Six, Calabar, Mr. Abubakar Marafa.
According to him, three other members of the association had been declared missing since the incident happened.
Mr. Abdul told Southern City News that Buba was on his way to rescue one of his shepherds who was allegedly attacked by farmers when the incident occurred.
He said, “The governor may not have been properly briefed on this matter. The man who was beheaded was a Fulani man and his vital organs were removed. We are requesting for the return of the head and other vital organs of Buba for us to bury him.
“Three others are also missing as we speak and we do not know where they are. Buba was riding his motorcycle to rescue his shepherd whose hand and leg were dismembered when he was attacked and killed. The shepherd is still in the hospital and we are calling for justice.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, had confirmed that one life was lost in the clash with one person injured.
Governor Ayade, in response to the clash, had directed the immediate deployment of all the security apparatus in the state to forestall a breakdown of law and order in Ugaga.
Ayade said after an emergency state security council meeting in Calabar, “We have already deployed the military, police and other security agencies to ensure that the situation is brought under control and as we speak, the area is calm and peaceful.
The governor stated that the anti-grazing law of Benue State had put a lot of pressure on Cross River, particularly along border communities and towns.
“If the Federal Government does not come to lend its support to the state, what will happen is that they are leaving the farmers and the herdsmen to take on themselves,” he added.
Ayade claimed that there has been mass exodus of Fulani herdsmen to Cross River due to the full implementation of the anti-open grazing law by the Benue State Government .
“This has become more exacerbated by the changes in climatic condition as the grasses up North is getting drier and the impact is what resulted in the incident we recorded yesterday where there was a skirmish between the herdsmen and Ugaga community, leading to loss of lives.”
“If Cross River State does nothing, the continuous exodus of an uncontrolled number of herdsmen into the state will result in more crisis. So, we must do something actively and fast too because it is causing anxiety, fear and worry and all through yesterday, Sunday night, all the calls and suggestions I got were that we should follow the direction of Benue State,” the governor said.