There is tension in some of the communities within the Bwari Area Council due to the massive influx of suspected Fulani herdsmen into the area.
The increased spate of insecurity across the country in recent times has been a major problem for many Nigerians regardless of their location.
However, residents of Kuduru, Sabon Gari, Barangoni, Kuchiko, Tudun Fulani and Arab Road in Bwari, which are some of Abuja’s border communities with Niger and Kaduna States are living in fear with the mass influx of suspected Fulani herdsmen around their communities.
Most of these border towns are mainly agrarian communities under the Bwari Area Council in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory.
Bwari is home to several Government agencies/ parastatals such as the Nigerian Law School, the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board Headquarters, Bwari General Hospital, the Bwari Area Council Secretariat and the Nigerian Army Camp.
There are some other academic institutions that make Bwari a choice location for residents.
They include; JAMB UTME Computer-Based Testing Centre, Kogo; Federal Government Girls College Bwari; Dorben Polytechnic, Abuja (now operating from its permanent site in Garam (a border community with Niger State), Veritas [Catholic] University, and many more.
All of these communities within Bwari’s border town are less than an hour’s drive to the city centre and they are preferred location for most low-income earners and a few middle-income earners in the FCT.
Although in terms of security, Bwari Area Council has remained largely peaceful since coming out of its 2017 Christmas Day crisis.
Currently, the story is quite different with the rising spate of insecurity across the country due to insurgency, banditry, kidnapping, and armed robbery among others.
THE WHISTLER findings revealed that within the last five days, there has been mass movements of Fulani herdsmen into some of these communities.
Our correspondent who visited some of the areas observed that the herdsmen were moving their cattles, donkeys, camels and other personal effects from Garam a community in Niger State into these border communities in Bwari.
Some of the residents who spoke to this Website expressed fears that based on the fact that some of these border communities in Abuja are agrarian in nature, the movement of these herdsmen with their cattle might cause some problems between the villagers and the herders.
One of the community leader who gave his name as Musa Nurudeen said, “We started seeing the Fulani herders last Friday moving their cows from Niger State and Kaduna through Kuduru into Bwari, they came in large numbers with cows, donkeys, camels. While the men walked on foot with the animals, the women and children sat on the camels and donkeys.
“Apart from their donkeys and cows, the herders also came with some of their household items like stove, pots, and mats. We later got to know that they were relocating from Niger State to some of the communities in Bwari.
“Our fear now is that the farming season is fast approaching and with the limited land size that has been secured by some of us for farming, where will these herders graze their cows? I foresee a crisis between farmers and herders except something urgent is done.”
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Garam Azhibhisa Landlord Association, Mr Joseph Egba described the development as frightening, considering the fact that these herders have no land of their own for their cows to graze.
He added that there is need for security agencies to intensify surveillance within the border communities to prevent situations where the areas would be infiltrated by hoodlums and bandits.
He also said that the leadership of some of the communities have started intensifying measures at improving security within the communities.
He said since some of the communities have borders with Niger and Kaduna State, steps have already been taken to engage the services of local vigilante groups to secure the area.
He said, “As you can see, there is so much tension in this communities. We have lived here for so many years and this is the first time I am witnessing this type of movement around here.
“From what I see, it seems these herders are looking for where to settle down and graze their cows. I am from Benue and this is how the crisis between farmers and herders started there.
“Once they settle down here with their cows, it may result into problems because the lands have already been taken by farmers to plant their crops. So, where will they graze their cattle? Something needs to be done”
Kaduna and Niger State which are the two States that share borders with Bwari have been under serious attacks by Bandits and Terrorists within the last two months.
On April 26, Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State told journalists that Boko Haram terrorists have been occupying some communities in the state.
“I am confirming that there are Boko Haram elements here in Niger state, here in Kaure, I am confirming that they have hoisted their flags here.
“Their wives (of the villagers) have been seized from them and forcefully attached to Boko Haram members. I just heard that they have placed their flags at Kaure, meaning they have taken over the territory.
”This is what I have been engaging the federal government on, unfortunately, it has now got to this level. If care is not taken, even Abuja is not safe. We have been saying this for long. All our efforts have been in vain.”
The governor said the terrorists have displaced over 3,000 residents of the affected communities.