An armed Fulani attack on some farmers at Nyiwa Village in Mambilla sparked off a spiral of herdsmen-farmers clashes across some villages in western Mambilla Plateau in Sardauna LGA, Taraba State of Nigeria. According to reports gathered, the initial attack at Nyiwa village which happened on 1/3/2018, started after the Fulani militia shot dead two Mambilla men in their farmland at Nyiwa community.
The Fulani herders had destroyed the fence around the farm the previous day which the farmers quickly and peacefully repaired. The Fulani allegedly destroyed the fence for a second time within a space of about 24 hours. When the farmers returned to the farm and were about to re-erect the fence, the Fulani gunmen, allegedly led by the said Maigari Gagarau and brother opened fire on them from a nearby bush in which they had laid in ambush, killing two farmers instantly.
The head of one of their victims was further macheted to pieces by Maigari’s team. They subsequently shot dead two other Mambilla men. As the alarm of this gruesome killings went round the village, residents scampered about in panic, some rushing to attempt to rescue those trapped by the attack. These people, however, similarly came under the same gunfire.
The villagers inevitably clashed with these armed herdsmen in the farm resulting in further casualties.
According to online reports, these Nyiwa killings sparked off a wave of fighting between herdsmen and farmers in the area. Nevertheless, the Nyiwa attack by the herdsmen turned out to be the head of a series of coordinated attacks organized and executed by the Fulani leaders, which quickly spread to other villages such as Yerimaru, Kasalasa, Ngesoo, Yelwa and the Mambilla Escarpment Road.
Reports of Fulani mercenaries arriving Maisamari, Nguroje and Gembu on Saturday, 3 March 2018 were rife by evening of that day. Some of these were allegedly lodged at the residences of certain Miyetti Allah leaders, Ardo Juli and Ardo Ali in Nguroje, according to the Sardauna stakeholders forum.
The Fulani mercenaries alongside their local militia began action around Yelwa with the slaughter of a Mambilla woman from Takam Village, east of Maisamari on Saturday, 3 March 2018. She was daughter-in-law to a certain Late Nasamu of Takam. The woman was returning from market when the Fulani mercenaries caught up with her and slaughtered her like a ram. Local residents pursued and neutralized 4 of her killers, while others escaped.
The following day, Sunday, 4 March 2018, an group of heavily-armed Fulani mercenaries left Maisamari and entered Yelwa in a convoy akin to regular army deployments. These heavily-armed mercenaries selected Mambilla houses in Yelwa shooting men, women and children and burning down the houses.
All non-Fulani people in Yelwa, particularly, the Mambilla and Kaka, were invariably affected. Several girls have been reported missing, having been abducted by these ruthless invaders.