James Ibechi

Armed herders kill 12, displace 5,000 in Benue

Suspected Fulani herdsmen, on Saturday night and yesterday morning, launched simultaneous attacks on some communities in Ado  Local Government Area of Benue State, killing 12 persons and rendering over 5,000 homeless.

It was learnt that houses and food items were also destroyed during the attack.

Some of the communities attacked included Tologa, Ndi-Obasi, Odoken in Ekile council ward of Ijigban district in Ado.

Consequently, inhabitants of the neighbouring communities of Obakoto, Odirewu, Offianka and Nwedogo in Ijigban council ward deserted their homes for fear of invasion by the Fulani herders.

According to an Ekile indigene, Andrew Ugbala, the marauders invaded the area at about 11 pm on Saturday and continued with the attacks till the early hours of Sunday, killing people and destroying houses.

Chairman of Ado Local Government Area, James Oche, confirmed the attack on five communities in Ekile and that 12 persons were killed during the attack.

Efforts to speak with the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene, on the matter proved abortive.

But a military source told newsmen on condition of anonymity that no life was lost in the attack.

“It is true that some gunmen attacked some communities in Ado, but nobody died,” he said.

However, the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) has expressed concern over the alarming rate of killings in Benue, urging the warring communities to a ceasefire.

The spokesman of the northern group, Emmanuel Yawe, stated yesterday: “ACF is alarmed at the reported cases of mass killings from Benue of recent. The most recent and gruesome is the one on Thursday last week in which about 40 people were murdered in one day and another large number of people dislodged from their homes at Shikaan village in Katsina-Ala Local Government Council of the state.

“The country home of a retired senior Navy Commodore Iyortyer Afeah, who is from the village, was completely burnt down with the four people who were inside.”

Categories: James Ibechi

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