By Tata Mbunwe
Reports reaching MMI have alleged that Fulani herdsmen have killed close to 10 people in Esu, Menchum Division of the Northwest, in less than one week after they unleashed a wave of attacks on the community.
A native of Esu said people are scrambling to leave Munkep, one of the villages that constitute the tribe, after the Fon was recently killed alongside his son by men believed to be Fulani herders from neighbouring Nigeria.
“As we talk people are on the run. The Chief of Munkep, a sub village where our people farm, was murdered alongside his son 72 hours ago. Yesterday five people were killed. We have recently lost 10 people,” he told MMI on Tuesday, January 17.
“My people, the Esu community, are being slaughtered like animals in our sub villages like Item, Guyama, Munkep, etc, and are gradually approaching main town Esu by Fulani grazers from Nigeria,” he added.
The situation has kept escalating, he said, despite attempts by the Senior Divisional Officer of Menchum, Abdoullahi Alliou, to maintain peace and order.
Esu and other parts of Menchum Division have suffered inter-community conflict for quite some time now, with several people killed as a result.
Fulani herdsmen have often been at crossroads with villagers over land issues.
On March 9 last year, the Fon of Esu, Fonkum Achuo Kawzuh Albert, was murdered alongside his first wife, Duh Bibiana, in a suspicious attack, which villagers blamed on Fulani herdsmen.
However, the SDO, in a communiqué, blamed “armed terrorists”, a connotation usually used by state officials to refer to Ambazonia fighters in the Northwest and Southwest Regions.
The SDO also promised to fish out and punish the Fon’s killers, but till date the outcome of this promised investigation is not known.
Esu community is calling on the government to take concrete action to stop Fulani herdsmen from killing their people, failure of which they might take the law into their hands.
It is believed the burning of the Esu mosque in March last year, one day after Fon Fonkum Achuo and wife were murdered, was a retaliatory move by villagers against Fulani herders, many of whom are Muslims.
Mimi Mefo Info