Reports reaching The Humanitarian Times indicated that at least five persons have been killed as farmers resisted an invasion into their farmlands by armed herdsmen.
The farmers would not allow open grazing on their farmlands as they were yet to harvest their crops.
Sources familiar with the event said the herders who came with a large number of cattle and sheep insisted on grazing their animals through the yet to be harvested plantations.
Borno is amongst the Nigerian states that did not domesticate anti grazing laws that bans open grazing by nomadic herders.
Reliable sources, mostly local hunters and members of the Civilian JTF said: “at least five persons have been killed in the past weeks”.
Most of the farmers were shot at with arrows believed to have been poisoned.
The Borno state Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Farouq Musa confirmed the latest event that happened on Thursday which he said claimed the life of one and left two others with a serious injury from arrows fired off the bows of the herders.
Sources familiar with the other unreported attacks confirmed that “the herdsmen didn’t use machetes and can’t guns but also deployed poisoned arrows to attack each time they disallow them from grazing their cattle through farms.
“We have seen a phenomenal number of Fulani herdsmen who flocked more than 40,000 cows around the Kashmiri, Dala Yazara, Kangaleri, Umarari-Alajiri, and Daiwa villages of Borno state,” the source said. Most of these afflicted villages are located near the banks of streams and rivers.
“The herdsmen began to arrive in these riverbank communities in early November at the time farmers were about to start harvesting their crops,” the source informed newsmen.
“Each time the farmers wanted to stop the herdsmen from flocking their animals into the farms, they would end up either attacked by machetes or arrows laced with poison.
“We have lost count of the number of farmers that were injured during these attacks. But I can confirm to you that at least five farmers have been killed.
“The latest attack on farmers occurred yesterday (Thursday) at about 3.30 pm WAT, when two brothers who were harvesting their farm produce near Daiwa on the way to Damboa, got shot at and injured by an arrow fired at them,” the source said.
“One of the brothers died, while the other who survived after being hit by an arrow that pierced the upper part of his stomach, is the curry admitted at the hospital.
The sources said the Herdsmen would sometimes give an ultimatum for farmers to finish harvesting their produce in a week or risk it being run over by their cattle.
The state commandant of NSCDC, Farouq Musa had informed that ” there was a misunderstanding between some herders and farmers that led to a loss of life”.
“Some farmers came under attack from a group of herdsmen while resisting the invasion of their farms. Three of the farmers sustained injury from arrows fired at them; one died and one was rushed to the hospital with the arrow in his body”
“We jointly intervened in conjunction with the police, and the situation was brought under control.
“As a matter of urgent concern, the state Governor was duly informed and he issued a serious warning to the herders, asking them to stay away from the farmlands until the harvests are over. The governor had instructed that any herder who defied this directive should be dealt with using the full extent of the law”.