The Nasarawa State Police Command have confirmed the death of a 28-year-old man, Hassan Papalolo, after a fresh clash between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the Awe Local Government Area of the state.
Three others reportedly sustained varying degrees of injury in the skirmish between the two groups.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Nasarawa, DSP Idrisu Kennedy, explained that the deceased was among of a group of youths who protested against the destruction of a farm by herdsmen.
According to him, Papalolo was stabbed and subsequently died when he and other youths invaded an assembly of Fulani herdsmen in protest over the attack on a farmer, Yunusa Makeri, by suspected herdsmen.
The police spokesman said, “The deceased was killed in Awe market during a skirmish between some youths and Fulani herdsmen immediately after the injured farmer, Yunusa Makeri, and two herders were brought to the general hospital with machete wounds.”
Kennedy stated that the command had already deployed more personnel in the crisis areas to maintain law and order.
Our correspondent gathered that the situation degenerated when the Awe youths insisted that only the farmer should be treated in the hospital while preventing medical personnel from attending to the two injured herdsmen.
It was learnt that the Emir of Awe, Alhaji Abubakar Umar, had to appeal to the youths before the injured Fulani herdsmen were allowed to get medical attention.
But the state chairman of the Miyatti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Muhammed Hussaini, said the vigilance group in Awe had arrested the herdsman who destroyed the farm which led to the skirmish.
He blamed the Awe youths for over-reacting, noting that the matter would not have degenerated if they had exercised restraint.
Meanwhile, the Fulani socio-cultural group, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore Fulani, has called for the intervention of the Federal Government to address the exodus of Fulani herdsmen from Benue State following the anti-open grazing law in the state.
The National President of the association, Alhaji Abdullahi Bodejo, described the law, which became effective on November 1, 2017, as an aberration against the provisions of the constitution which guaranteed the rights of every Nigerian to live in any place or states of their choice.
He said, “We have the Benue State Government displacing innocent Fulanis and other pastoralists and Taraba State wanted to follow suit. What have Fulanis done to warrant this persecution?
“Does it mean that the Federal Government and President Muhammadu Buhari are not aware of this development or are they afraid of living up to their constitutional responsibilities?”
Bodejo called on the Federal Government to establish the National Grazing Reserve Commission as part of measures to resolve the crisis.
Source: ( Punch Newspaper )