About 200 families have been displaced at Mbiabong Ito, Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River State as a result of alleged invasion of the community by Fulani herdsmen.
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 local source said that the herdsmen were carrying sophisticated weapons, which made it impossible for the indigenes to resist them. The source further stated that the invading herdsmen entered the community in large number with their cows, opened gun fire on the locals who made to prevent the grazing animals from destroying their farms.
Investigation showed that hundreds of indigenes were chased out of their homes; many of whom were injured and that they could not go back home out of fear that the herdsmen would kill them.
“The problem started Tuesday 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.
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 had been 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.