Herdsmen/Agatu farmers clash: Over 3,920 persons reported killed since 2013.
Barely four years after continuous clashes, it has been revealed that not less than 3,920 persons of Agatu extraction lost their lives in the bloody crisis between Agatu farming communities and Fulani herdsmen in Agatu local government area of Benue state.
It was also revealed that the crisis had also ravaged property, farmland and other economic social life of the people worth several billions of Naira within the said period.
The Sole Administration of Agatu local government council, Mr. Mike Inalegwu made this disclosure to journalists in Makurdi yesterday while fielding questions on the rationale of the present moves to allow herders to come and graze in the area.
Inalegwu explained that despite the number of casualties in the crisis, the people of Agatu were willing and prepared to cohabit with the Fulanis in an atmosphere of peace and mutual trust; and in consonance with the constitutional provision as bothers on freedom of movement.
He explained that the temporary agreement entails that the unarmed herdsmen from Nasarawa state would be allowed entry into Adapati Island in Agatu to graze their cow, drink water and not for the purposes of residence and must be indigenous Fulanis with known identity.
The Sole Administrator intimated further that as part of the temporal agreement no herdsman is allowed to graze beyond the Island while they would be held accountable by the soldiers on guard for destruction done to any farmland or produce within or in any nearby Island other than Adapati.
“Moreover herdsmen would not be allowed to cross to Agatu hinterland until normalcy is restored and by extension neither Agatu nor the herdsmen will be allowed to carry arms and dangerous weapons to the area,” the Council boss explained.
Inalegwu maintained that the agreement could be withdrawn in the event of a breach assuring that military personnel would constantly be on ground to monitor its implementation and when violated the military would occupy the area.