Fulani herdsmen invade Benue communities
Six days after Fulani herdsmen invaded Logo local government area, home of ex-governor, Gabriel Suswam killing about twenty people, the insurgents between Tuesday and Wednesday again made a violent incursion into the Mbavuur council ward of the local government killing four people and injuring 16 others.
The herders also proceeded to Mbaya council ward in neighbouring Buruku local government area where they killed two people and overran the entire council ward with more than 4, 000 cattle grazing freely in the area. This brings to six the total number of people killed during the week.
The twin attacks came as Governor, Samuel Ortom on Friday allegedly disowned his Special Assistant on Fulani Matters who doubles as National Coordinator of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria Benue State chapter, Alhaji Garus Gololo over comments he allegedly uttered on the “presence of herdsmen in parts of the state”.
In Logo Local government, former chairman of People’s Democratic Party,(PDP), Mr. Ndiisaa Terhemen disclosed that the invaders first stormed the Tse-Igboughul village on Tuesday about 8pm when most people had gone to bed and were shooting randomly during which two people were killed.
Terhemen added that the attack which spilled over to the next day (Wednesday), saw the killing of four people while ten others who sustained varying degrees of gunshot wounds were rushed to hospitals in Zaki-Biam and Ugba, headquarters of the local government for treatment.
It was further gathered that herdsmen invaded also Buruku, the homestead of a member of the House of Representatives representing Buruku constituency, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Yisa Orker Jev.
The invaders also penetrated several other communities in Mbaya council ward where they murdered two victims and left them in their pool of blood, bringing the total number of people killed as at press time to about eight.
Residents who deserted their homes in the two local governments left their food items and livestock at the mercy of the insurgents.
Sources from the affected communities said the attack which came at the peak of farming activities, has grounded all economic and social services as some schools, hospitals and business premises have been forced to close up.
Reacting, the Chairman of All Progressives Congress in the local government, Mr. Mbatseen Terngu, confirmed the killing, saying over 4,000 Fulani cattle were grazing roaming freely in the area with the herdsmen destroying their farmlands.
An aide to Hon. Orker Jev, Desmond Ikyume, said that the attackers made incursion at about 8 pm on Tuesday night and surrounded the village, adding that what followed was sporadic shootings and massive exit of inhabitants.
Mr. Ikyume added that one of the victims was stabbed to death in the stomach with a sword, adding that corpses of the victims were deposited at the hospital.
Meanwhile, Governor Ortom on Friday said he has no connection with his Special Adviser on Fulani Matters, Alhaji Garus Gololoany longer, as he said, he is neither his appointee at the time he was quoted to have granted the interviews nor at the time of issuing this press statement”.
Governor Ortom in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, released to journalists in Makurdi, accused the Fulani chief of disputing the remarks he (Ortom) earlier made that herdsmen have taken over twelve local government areas in the state.
“We wish to state that as a citizen of this country who enjoys the right to freedom of speech, Mallam Gololo is at liberty to air his opinion on any issue of national or state interest, whether or not his opinion is right as it is evident in the said publications that he failed to get his facts correct”.
“If indeed he made the published comments, they represent his personal skewed views, have no connection with the true security situation in the state and remain irrelevant as far as the present administration is concerned”.
The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Moses Joel Yamu said he was “not aware of the attack” and tasked our correspondent “to cross your facts”.