No fewer than 10 persons were reportedly killed in clashes between suspected Fulani herdsmen and farmers in two communities in Niger State.
It was learnt that the clashes happened at Bokuta village, Bosso Local Government Area and Tungan Malam village in the Paikoro LGA.
While six were killed in the Bokuta clash, four died in the Tungan Malam melee.
A resident of Bokuta, who identified himself only as Isiaq, said trouble started in the community on Thursday, July 7, when some herdsmen invaded a farm with their cattle and destroyed its crop.
He said the farmer engaged the herdsmen in a scuffle during which one of the invaders was killed while another one was injured.
“The following day, herdsmen went on a reprisal and shot five farmers dead. The village was in a turmoil and nobody could go out for two days. It was the police and military men who eventually came to restore peace,” he added.
In the Tungan Malam clash, a source, who spoke to our correspondent on the telephone, said a youth had on Friday led cattle into a large farmland, where maize, sorghum, yam and soya beans were grown and destroyed the crops.
He said the owners of the farm complained, but the youth and other herders struck and killed one of the farmers. The source added that the farmers regrouped and went on a reprisal, killing three herdsmen.
Urging for lasting solutions to the incident, the source said, “Government must take a bold step to solve these killings. Why must some people destroy the means of livelihood of others to earn their living?, it is unfair.”
The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Bala James, who confirmed the clashes, said eight persons were killed while three others sustained varying degrees of injuries.
The PPRO said two suspects had been arrested and that there were ongoing dialogues to forestall the crises.
He said, “It was the issue of herders going into farmers’ crops and damaging them. On July 7, at Bokuta village, there was an argument between the farmers and the herders and we learnt that a herder was killed and another one injured.