The herdsmen were allegedly abducted in the bush when their cattle grazed on some farmers’ crops in the community.
The South East Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, who told journalists in Awka, Anambra State about the kidnap of the herdsmen, fingered the local vigilantes in the incident.
In a swift reaction, the President-General of Mbaugwu-Uturu Community, Mr. Maduike Damian, refuted Siddiki’s allegation. He said: “I am on top of that situation. But that act was not carried out by our people. In fact, we have mobilised our youths to assist the police in fishing out the culprits. I married from the North and as such, I wouldn’t support any act that will bring us on a collision course with the Fulani, “In fact, the report available to me has it that there are a group of hoodlums living in that bush for about a year now. I was surprised,” Damian said.
A youth leader in the community, who would not want to be mentioned for security reasons, said they have mobilised to assist security agents to trace the victims.
In his narration, Siddiki had claimed that two herdsmen were first abducted before three others were “kidnapped by a gang of vigilantes.”
Siddiki said: “Some gangs who claimed to be vigilantes in Ngodo, Mbaugwu-Uturu community, Abia State, invaded the camp of two Fulani herdsmen and abducted them. Their cows, as a result, were scattered in the bush. Initially, when they didn’t return to the camp the following morning, their colleagues at a general camp thought that they missed their way. So, three persons went to search for them. Sadly, three of them were equally abducted by the same gang as they went without weapons.”
According to him, “we went to Okigwe Divisional Police Station, Imo State, to report the matter but they said that that area is not under their jurisdiction. So, we went to Isikwuato Police Division, they also declined having jurisdiction there. We had no option than to report to the military in Abia State.”