A growing number of residents of Mararaban Tipper near Nzhwerenvi Village, and Kpara around Kpatenvie (Jebbu Miango) community in Plateau State are deserting their homes over fear of more attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
The development followed the killing of five persons and the destruction of farmlands in the community on Monday night by the assailants.
The assailants were said to have stormed the community in large numbers as people of the area were sleeping and moved from house to house to hack them to death.
Those, who were lucky to survive the attack, are said to be currently battling varying degrees of injury inflicted on them by the armed men.
National President of Irigwe Development Association, Prince Robert Ashi, last week alleged the invasion of farmlands in the community by Fulani herdsmen and the destruction of farms and crops worth N500 million.
Sensing that the situation could lead to a bigger crisis, Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Bathlomen Onyeka, on Monday held a meeting with the Irigwe and Fulani leaders during which he compelled them to agree to a peace treaty.
But hours after that meeting, the armed men struck in the Plateau community, hacking people to death and leaving several others currently battling for life.
Giving insight as to why the attack took place, Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in the state, Mallam Nura Mohammad, said 33 cows died recently in the area as a result of poisoning by farmers.
According to him, the Fulani had endured this and other acts of provocation from farmers in the area for a long time.
Condemning the attack and killing of his people, Paramount Ruler of Rigwe Nation, Brra Nggwe Rigwe and acting President Bassa Traditional Council, HRH Rev Ronku Aka (Rtd), called on the Nigerian Government to severely sanction Fulani herders behind heinous crimes in the state.
He said, “The Fulani herdsmen have constantly demonstrated an attitude that is not peaceful in nature even when Rigwe people have shown commitment that is peaceful and lawful.
“The Fulani people should allow peace to reign and ensure that the various committees that are working for peace to be restored finish their work so that peace that is not rushed can be permanently restored.”
Speaking further, the traditional ruler described the attack as a continued strategy and scheme of the enemies to wipe out the entire Rigwe ethnic nationality.
He said they had been working tirelessly to ensure that the terror being unleashed on the land was stopped.
The monarch urged the Rigwe people to maintain peace despite the continued attack on them by Fulani.
The spokesperson for the police in the state, ASP Ubah Gabriel Ogaba, did not respond to calls and a text message sent to him over the issue by SaharaReporters.