By Bemgba Iortyom.
At Agboughul, a suburb of Makurdi, the Benue State capital city, a volatile situation is gradually unfolding as Fulani herdsmen have taken to grazing their cattle in the residential areas of Tiv inhabitants and on their farms.
According to this reporter, numerous herds of cattle could be observed in the early hours of today grazing among the cluster of residences in the area, with many of the cattle actually wandering into the perimeter of some of the homes.
A resident of the area, Mr. Terna Ajingir (alias Jaja), lamented the danger of the situation which he said is one of uneasy calm, with the Tiv inhabitants doing everything possible to avoid a confrontation with the herdsmen, but he also wondered for how long the Tiv could continue to keep quiet.
Mr. Ajingir pointed out that the cattle do eat everything around the residences, including crops planted in the gardens around the homes, and that the biggest loses being suffered by the residents are those on the dry-season farms in the area where cattle have reportedly destroyed crops including Ugwu leaves, pepper, tomatoes and maize worth hundreds of thousands of naira.
Another resident of the area, who preferred anonymity, claimed that several attempts by the residents to persuade the Fulani herdsmen to take their cattle elsewhere for grazing have fallen on deaf ears as the herdsmen keep coming back with their herds every day.
Further investigations by this reporter reveal that a committee was recently put in place by the community leaders of Agboughul and mandated to look into cases of infraction committed by Fulani herdsmen against residents of the area and their businesses, but the committee is yet to submit a report of its work.
A number of youths in the area who spoke to this reporter called on President-Elect, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd.), to move swiftly to tackle the problem of Fulani herdsmen grazing their cattle on Tiv farms, when he is sworn in to office on May 29th.