A leader of Miyetti Allah cattle breeders in Benue state, Garus Gololo, has revealed that the new year attack that led to the death of 20 people, was a reprisal for the alleged theft of cows.
Speaking with BBC Pidgin, Gololo said over 1000 cows were stolen at Nengere, a community in the state, when the herdsmen were moving out of Benue to Taraba state.
He added that the crisis broke out while the herdsmen were trying to protect and defend themselves and their property.
However, a Fulani socio-cultural association, Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, has distanced itself from the attacks. Yusuf Ardo, national publicity secretary of the association, said the group upholds peace and love.
“We are peace-loving people, we believe in love for one another. Any Fulani pastoralist that doesn’t believe in peace is not part of us,” Ardo said. The group appealed to security agencies to arrest the perpetrators of the crime.