Anambra Police Command and Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) have exchanged words over alleged killing of 21 herders since January 2021.
The latest killing of four of its members occurred on Saturday, Chairman of the group in the Southeast, Alhaji Gidado Sidikki, alleged.
He said apart from the four herders allegedly killed by gunmen at Ogboji, Orumba South local government area of Anambra State on Saturday, hundreds of their cows were still missing.
Sidikki identified those allegedly killed in the community as Hadari Umaru, Hamidu Umaru, Aliu Idris and Hassan idris
Governor Willie Obiano, in a meeting last week with security agencies, traditional rulers and town unions, had ordered herdsmen should be treated as criminals.
Siddiki on spoke Sunday in Awka, Anambra State while briefing reporters on what he called the latest onslaught on his members by gunmen.
He alleged the incident took place at Mohammed Idris Herder’s Settlement located at Ogboji, in Orumba South local government area.
He further alleged 21 herders had been killed from January 2021 till date in Anambra state alone.
He said out of the four killed, police had only recovered one corpse after a complaint was launched while three others were still missing.
He also revealed two herders were killed in a similar manner in Ishiagu, Ivo local government area of Ebonyi State.
Siddiki, said until the recent attacks, members of Miyetti Allah Association had enjoyed cordial relationships with their host communities in the South East.
“The Fulani people in the South-East are not violent and we are not here to undermine the business of the people of the area. We are here to transact business and not to foment trouble.
“And I have been taken records of any herder that came into the South East zone as a way of checkmating them and their activities.
“My members are law-abiding people under my watch. So I am surprised why they should be killed unjustly like that.”
He called on the Anambra state government and traditional rulers in their respective host communities to take action to stem further attacks on his members.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Mohammed Haruna, confirmed the incident.
He said the Commissioner of Police, Monday Kuryas, had ordered for full scale investigation
According to him: “The CP has ordered full scale investigation into the latest attack on herders in Orumba South and the perpetrators when arrested will be brought to justice.
“The Command assures all and sundry of the renewed commitment of the Police in securing lives and properties of all living in Anambra State.”
But a top police source said: “This issue has become a big one in this State, but Miyetti Allah should not make it as if the Police was not working.
“The number of figure its leader is quoting is outrageous and I don’t think the group has lost such. The clashes with farmers in the State only end in injuries and not killings.”