An estimated 200 families have been
displaced at Mbiabong Ito, Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River
State as a result of the alleged invasion of the community by Fulani
Information gathered from the area which
is about 100 kilometres from Calabar indicated that Fulani herders in
their scores invaded farmlands in the community, Tuesday night from
Arochukwu axis of Abia State, leading to a violent confrontation between
them and the local population.
A source who refused to be quoted stated
that the invading Fulani who entered the community with their cattle,
opened gun fire on the locals who made to prevent the grazing animals
from destroying their farms.
Sources from the community said
following the ensuing clash, many casualties have been recorded, but
could not provide the exact number of the dead or the injured.
However, they stated that many families,
numbering about 200 have been displaced due to the fighting which was
said to be ongoing as of yesterday afternoon.
“The problem commenced last night at
about 9p.m. when the community people noticed that Fulani men had
invaded their farmlands with cows, and were destroying their crops. When
they went to chase the Fulani away from their farms the owners of the
cows shot at them.
As I am talking to you, there is still
fighting going on with the youths, young men of the community. Women and
children have all left to the neighbouring communities. There are some
casualties, and our community has been invaded by the Fulani herdsmen
and their cows,” a source from the community said.
Another source claimed that after the
fighting ensued, some men in military uniform have been sighted in the
community, allegedly lending some support to the Fulani herdsmen.
However, the information could not be verified by THISDAY.
The police authorities in the state have confirmed the clash, but said no death was recorded on both sides.
The Police Public Relations Officer in
the state, Irene Ugbo, said a strong police contingent hadbeen deployed
to restore normalcy to the area.
Ugbo said, so far, no casualty has been
reported to the police, and that the latest information from their men
on ground indicates that the situation has been brought to normal.