A mob has attacked Fulani herdsmen in Nigeria’s restive middle-belt with an eyewitness saying Monday that fourteen people were “hacked and burnt” to death over the weekend. The long-running battle between the nomadic Fulani herdsmen and farmers for land represents a major Nigerian battleground that is often overlooked but no less violent than the northeastern Boko Haram insurgency or the Niger delta uprising in the south.
“I was returning from Plateau state with eight passengers, all of them Fulani herders,” commercial bus driver Adamu Aliyu told AFP. Aliyu said his bus broke down in Kaduna state, so he left it to go search for a mechanic. “While I was away a mob surrounded the vehicle and forcibly brought out the eight passengers. They hacked them to death, dumped them in the vehicle and set it ablaze,” Aliyu said. “Another vehicle was also attacked when it stopped to refuel and all the six people were burnt to death along with the car.” Aliyu said a riot broke out in the streets, with soldiers and police finally intervening to contain the carnage. “The following day youth in the area mobilised and blocked the highway, vandalising vehicles and attacking motorists,” Katuka said. Kaduna state police spokesman Aliyu Usman acknowledged the Godogodo attack and the riot, but said only two people had died in the unrest.