Tension yesterday enveloped communities in Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory as hundreds of nomadic herders crossed Abuja-Kaduna highway into Sabon-Wuse in Niger State to camp there.
This development forced some residents of Sabon-Wuse, a few kilometres away from Bwari Area Council, to stay at home in fear of the unknown.
It was gathered that some of the herders, comprising men, women and children, who got to the area around 8:00 am, were from the Niger Republic. They were moving with a large flock of animals, comprising cows, sheep, donkeys and camels.
A local vigilante leader, Hussaini Abubakar, told journalists that on arriving at the highway, the herders made a stopover at Sabon-Wuse due to the gridlock around a military checkpoint between Dikko junction and the town.
“They were able to cross the road after a while, and we met them across the road, which is under Tafa LGA where we operate.
“We engaged some of them to know about their mission. However, from what we gathered, some of them are from the Niger Republic and they said they were heading to Bauchi State,” said the vigilante leader. He added that the herders’ efforts to cross the highway, which had worsened the gridlock, and the fact that some were on motorcycles, made many people among the residents and passersby, to be in a panic.
Also speaking, the Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders, MACBAN, in the area, Malam Haruna Idris, said there had been a constant movement of nomadic herders for over a month now, with about 500 to 1000 mixed animals. “Every time we asked them about their mission, they answer that they are migrating from either Niger, Kebbi or Zamfara states, heading to Bauchi. And in most cases, they used to pass the night around some nearby Rugas (herders settlement), before proceeding with their journey,” Idris added.
As of the time of filing this report (8:16 pm), the herders had quit their camp in the area to continue their journey to Bauchi by night.
Efforts to speak to the FCT police spokesperson, ASP Maryam Yusuf, proved abortive as she did not pick phone call from Our Correspondent.