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Farmer killed in clash with cattle herders in Magumeri

18 November 2022
Reading time: 3 minutes

A farmer was killed in a clash with herders who have settled in the Magumeri Local Government Area and whose animals are destroying crops by eating or trampling on what’s left of them after the big floods this year.

Farmers are furious that the herders came to the area before the crops could be harvested.

They told RNI reporter Mustapha Abubakar that they had already experienced losses because of the flooding this year.

They said the cattle kept entering their farms and eating and trampling on whatever crops were not lost in the floods. This was causing anger and anxiety among the farmers who said they were losing their precious produce.

Muhammad Ali, a farmer in Magumeri, said: “Some Fulani herders arrived and they are grazing their cattle in our farms. When we approached them to ask them why, they attacked us with their weapons. Even our village head was threatened when he went to talk to them. He was attacked by herders carrying knives and that’s when a fight began. One farmer was killed.

“We are used to the herders coming here, but they usually come after the harvest period. This time they came earlier and now they are letting their animals into our farms, which were first ravaged by the floods and are now being eaten and trampled on by the cattle.”

Ali said he did not know where the herders came from “but they look like foreigners”. They even invited their people to join them, so now there are a lot of them. They said there was enough graze to feed all their animals in Magumeri, even without the farms.

“When we see them coming to our farms, we pick the harvest even if it’s not ripe and leave. If we don’t do that the animals eat all our hard labour. And, if we question them, they get belligerent.

“It’s not that long ago that we faced losses because of the massive flooding that took place. Most of us lost a lot of crops during that time. When the flooding subsided, we came back to salvage whatever plants were left. Now herders and their animals are taking advantage of our hard work. It is frustrating.”

Ali said there were no security personnel in the area and the Civilian Joint Task Force could not stop them.

“They do as they like. And the government does nothing to help us. We are poor people and we have had a bad year because of the floods and now the herders and their cattle.”

Idrisa Muhammad told RNI that the herders were “disturbing us”.

“They should not be allowed to take over our land while we are still harvesting. They should come later when we have taken all our crops and the fields are empty. We have no one to complain to and the herders just continue to allow their animals on our property.

“We are devastated because, with the floods destroying most of our harvest, we did not have that much left over. I speak for most of the farmers when I say the authorities should step in and help us. We are tired. We don’t want to fight the herders. We just want them to be more reasonable and to come here after our harvest. Is that too much to ask?”


About the author

Aisha Sd Jamal