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Suspected herdsmen burn Catholic seminary, houses in Adamawa

Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have attacked the Bare community in the Numan Local Government Area of Adamawa State and burnt down a Catholic seminary and houses in the area.

The Adamawa State Police Command confirmed the incident and said the attackers destroyed several houses but that no life was lost.

In a reaction to claims by the Catholic Church that the seminary in the area was burnt down in the attack, the Police Public Relations Officer, Othman Abubakar, said information available to the force did not specify the number and identities of the burnt buildings.

“There was an attack and houses were burnt down, but there was no loss of live. But so far, we have deployed our men to restore normalcy,” he said.

But the Bishop, Catholic Diocese of Yola, Stephen Mamza, who confirmed the destruction of the seminary in Daso, lamented the belated deployment of security personnel in the area.

He said the attackers came in their hundreds, adding that they operated unhindered for several hours.

The police spokesman also noted that when soldiers were contacted during the attack, they complained that they had no vehicle.

Mamza said, “The soldiers contacted while the attack was going on complained that they had no vehicle to promptly intervene. They had no vehicles for God’s sake and there were only four policemen stationed in that place and the attackers were up to 100.

“Our reverend father’s house was burnt and there’s no house around that area standing now. They have burnt all the houses; all my parishioners have left. Nobody can live there.

“About 50 per cent of the people have returned and reconstructed their houses. The people are now back to square one, because their houses have been destroyed completely.”

Bare has come under repeated attacks from suspected Fulani herdsmen following clashes with the farming community over grazing land.

Last October, the Ward Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party in the area was killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen on his farm.

Only last week, the Brigade Commander, 23 Armoured Brigade, Brig. Gen. Bello Mohammed, stated that the military had successfully quelled all herdsmen/farmers clashes in both Adamawa and Taraba states.