- Herdsmen have reportedly attacked several communities in Benue state, killing a 75-year-old man and 14 other individuals
- The attacks were reportedly confirmed by the state’s commissioner of police who stated that an investigation is currently underway
- The state governor stated that the herdsmen attacks were similar to the attacks carried out by Boko Haram
In what appears to be a sustained coordinated attack on communities in Logo and Ukum local government areas of Benue state, suspected herdsmen struck again, allegedly killing a 75-year-old man and 14 others, Vanguard reports.
NAIJ.com gathers that the attack reportedly took place on Tuesday evening, April 10; and the affected communities include Gbeji in Ukum local government area, Ukemberagya/Tswarev ward, Channel One community, Orveren and Ajura villages and Tombo community in Logo local government area of the state.
A former aide to the ex-governor of Benue state who is from one of the affected communities reportedly stated: “It all started two days ago on Tuesday evening between 6pm to 9pm was when the fully armed herdsmen came down heavily on the affected communities.
“They went to Gbeji in Ukum local government area and had a free day. They burnt down houses and killed about 8 people in the community and injured many. They did not stop at that. After that operation, they came down to Ukemberagya/Tswarev ward in Logo local government area, at Channel One community of Tswarev clan and killed two people, burnt down houses and one motorcycle there.
“They came unchallenged from Tungwa in Nasarawa state to attack our communities; and after the operation, they usually pull back or retreat to where they came from. But before yesterday’s incident, in the last 72 hours we have been facing these attacks. Before yesterday they mounted a road block at about 2pm around an abandoned mobile barracks projects at Anyiin and killed somebody there.
“As I speak to you, the mobile police at Anyiin in Logo local government area just removed the corpse of the victim and deposited same at the NKST Hospital mortuary. This is apart from the attack on Tombu ward in the same local government where four people were also killed. These killing have been going on in the last 72 hours. It happens everyday.
“It is obvious from this development that the security personnel sent to the area are either insufficient or they have been overwhelmed. We appeal that more mobile police personnel be posted to our communities.”
The attacks were reportedly confirmed by the state’s commissioner of police, Fatai Oowseni, who stated: “There was an incidence in Gbeji and we are investigating. There is said to be an attack by suspected herdsmen in the area but we can confirm that as at this morning; four dead bodies were recovered there. We have stepped up security in the area and we are investigating.”
The governor of the state, Samuel Ortom , reportedly stated: “The manner in which the armed herdsmen invade communities of the state and slaughter innocent people is not different from the mindless acts of Boko Haram in the north-eastern part of the country. They come with sophisticated weapons and kill people, matchete them and chase them away.”
He continued: “In some cases, they do not have herds. They just come with their weapons, kill and chase the people out and take over the land; that is the worrisome part of it. The trend of attacks on Benue is beyond mere grazing of livestock. If the invaders were only interested in grazing, the massive destruction of lives and property would not have been their priority.”
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously reported that Amnesty International (AI) raised an alarm over the spate of clashes between farmers and herdsmen across the country, pointing out that the crisis has resulted in over 150 deaths in 2018 alone.
The country director of the organisation, Osai Ojigho, in a statement, urged the federal government to find a lasting solution to the crisis. She noted that the government’s response to the issue in most cases was inadequate, too slow and ineffective, and in some cases unlawful.
TY Danjuma, Nigerian Army and the herdsmen crisis - on NAIJ.com TV: