More than 20 left dead after clashes in Nigeria


More than 20 people died in clashes between herders and farmers in central Nigeria, police said, part of an outbreak of violence putting pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari less than a year before elections.

Two herders went missing in the central state of Benue with one later found dead, a state police spokesman said.

In revenge, a group armed with machetes attacked people, including women and children, in Okpokwu district the same day, the spokesman said. Twenty-four people died in that violence.
“Four suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the gruesome murder,” the spokesman said.

Some opposition politicians accuse Buhari of failing to take action against herders because they are his ethnic and religious kin – an accusation his supporters dismiss.

The herders are mostly Muslims from Buhari’s Fulani ethnic group, while the majority of farmers are Christians of other ethnicities.

Many clashes between the communities, triggered by competition over dwindling arable land, are part of a cycle of revenge attacks that shows little sign of abating.

The presidency said Buhari would begin a tour of areas hit by the clashes, including Benue, on Monday.