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Herders kill one in Akwa Ibom community, Asaba residents panic over threat

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Fulani Community distances self from threat letter

Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen have attacked and killed one Silvanus Usen in Ikot Atasung Community, Ikot Ekpene Council of Akwa Ibom State.

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The Guardian learnt that the incident happened on Sunday morning, which resulted in his death while the brother of the deceased, Andrew was injured and being treated in hospital.

The incident would have led to an attack on the Hausa Community by the youths but was averted due to the intervention of some good-spirited members of the community.

A source in the community, however, disclosed that the situation in the community still remained tense.

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The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Odiko Macdon, who confirmed the incident, described it as “unfortunate” adding that the Commissioner of Police (CP), Andrew Amiengheme, had ordered an investigation into the incident.

He expressed the hope that the criminals would be arrested and prosecuted.

MEANWHILE, fear has enveloped residents of Asaba and environs following the threat issued by Fulani Jihadists to the Delta State Government to withdraw its support for anti-open cattle grazing in South-South Nigeria within 72 hours.

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The threat letter, which was pasted on strategic locations in Agbor, Ika South Council and Asaba, directed Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to withdraw his support for anti-open grazing of cattle in the state within 72 hours or face the dire consequences.

“Failure to meet our demand and for hosting the 17 governors in Delta State, Asaba and Agbor, shall encounter severe consequences worse than those of Bornu, Kebbi, Kastina, Kaduna, Enugu, Benue, Oyo and others,” the letter reads.

But the Fulani Community in Delta State has dissociated itself from the threat letter issued to the state government to withdraw its supports for anti-open cattle grazing, saying the purported threat was uncalled for and should be disregard entirely.

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Speaking to journalists in Asaba yesterday, Secretary-General of the Meyitti Allah, Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in Delta State, Usman Murter and Fulani Coordinator in the state, Useni Haruna said those behind the threat were enemies of progress who were out to foment trouble, and create division between the state and the Fulani that had been living in peace for years.

On its part, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) vowed to resist violent Fulani herdsmen in the state and entire Niger Delta region.

Also reacting to the threat, a resident of Asaba, Mr. O. Kenneth said by now, the Delta state government should have made a statement over the threat on Asaba and Agbor by the Fulani Jihadists, saying Governor Okowa’s silence on the matter was worrisome.

Another resident, Gospel Amas, stressed that the threat was not normal and that government should take it seriously, adding: “This is a security matter, so government and the police should be on top of the situation because people now live in fear since the threat was issued.”

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