Cross River youths, under the aegis of Coalition for Eradication of Fulani Herdsmen in Communities (CFEFHC), have given herdsmen in the state 24 hours to leave or face mass attack.
The youths said if the ongoing attack on their communities in Obio Usiere in Odukpani and some communities in Northern part of the state were not nipped in the bud, the Agatu, Edo and Enugu incidents might recur in the state.
Last week, Fulani herdsmen invaded Obio Usiere community in Eniong Abati of Odukapni Local Government Area and allegedly killed 10 persons.
The herdsmen accused the community of stealing their cattle and were irked that after series of complaints nothing was done.
Daily Sun investigation showed that the community has, over time, had running battle with the cattle rearers, and has alleged destruction of their farms by Fulani cows.
The youths’ group Coordinator, Emmanuel Edet, bemoaning the level of destruction said “the herdsmen have become a source of sorrow and harbinger of death to their host communities.”
Edet alleged it was only in Nigeria that cattle rearers were allowed to move about with arms while security operatives looked the other way, and added that, if the development was not checked, youths will protect their communities from further invasion.
He said: “What happened in Eniong, last week, is an eye-opener and we will not hesitate to reply them if they try it again.
“Only a fool will fold his hands and see a visitor come to take over his house. We have written to our community leaders to stop forthwith giving the herdsmen grazing land since they have come to maim, kill and destroy our community.
“We are also planning massive protest round border communities where they reside, to warn them to live within the tradition and customs of their host communities or quit within 24 hours as we will make life unbearable for them,” he stated.”
Village Head of Obio Usier, Iya Effiong Orok, said the herdsmen normally come to their community during the dry season to graze, and added that two years ago, the same incident occurred when two people were shot dead.
According to him, “the community has been deserted just as women cannot go to their farms and crops destroyed.”
Police Public Relations Officer, Irene Ugbo, said the command has deployed security operatives to maintain peace in the affected community.