Two persons suspected to be the orchestrators of a communal violence that broke out between Konkombas and Fulanis at Zabzugu in the Northern region have been arrested by police and military personnel patrolling the troubled villages.
The two whose identity have been concealed for now by the police were arrested at their homes following an intelligence gathered by the security in the ongoing investigation into the clashes.
“Three locally manufactured single barrel guns, quantity of smoked cow, goat and Guinea fowl meat were retrieved from one of the men’s home,” ASP Mohammed Yussif Tanko said in a statement he sent out to reporters by WhatsApp. “The two suspects were arrested to the station together with the exhibits to assist investigations”.
Meanwhile, a group of butchers who visited the victims to commiserate with them disclosed that more than 600 cattle were found killed and at least half of the toll left with broken legs and other bodily injuries.
They said nearly 500 Fulani families have also been rendered homeless and were hiding in very dangerous locations.
According to them, the mass killing occurred at Jagrido where the Konkombas began a deadly reprisal Wednesday which forced the minority Fulanis to abandon the animals and flee for their lives.
Leader of the butchers, Issahaku Sulemana (Nakoha Saaka) speaking to Kasapa News called for immediate deployment of military to the troubled communities to rescue the Fulanis and their properties who according to him, were still being hunted by the rampaging Konkombas.
He said the victims told them the Konkombas attacked their villages with guns, cutlasses and sticks and burned down their thatch-made rooms before opening fire on the animals after setting them amok.
“More than 600 cattle were gunned down. We counted more than 300 strewn across bushes in the village. As we speak, they are still killing them. An entire family is wailing because all their cattle have been killed,” the butcher disclosed. “I met a woman who gave birth today and saved her family and they are with me here at Zabzugu,” he added.
He said many Fulanis were trapped in the violent confrontation and they were helping some of them to safety at the district capital.
This revelation runs counter with an earlier details given by the District Chief Executive, Ahmed Iddi Adakwah. The DCE had said there was no proof of mass killing of the animals, insisting that only two cattle had been killed in the clashes and described as “figment of their own imagination” those who were quoting large death figure in the attack.
Ahmed had also declared a “relatively calm” security situation but residents on Thursday told Starr News there was still tensions at two villages up the Oti River, now confirmed by eyewitnesses.
The impoverished district has severely constrained police force whose duties are hampered by bad road and communication networks.
The violence started on Tuesday when some Fulani herders butchered a Konkomba farmer who reportedly attacked two Fulani children who led cattle to destroy his farmland.
The Konkombas raided the homes of the Fulanis in the brutal reprisal torched their properties before targeting the cattle.