BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI — Three persons have been reportedly killed while several have been declared missing in a clash that erupted Sunday morning between Fulani herdsmen and Tiv natives in Adeke village, which is less than four kilometres from the heart of Makurdi town.
When Vanguard visited the troubled community, yesterday, the inhabitants of the village had fled their homes for fear of being killed by the rampaging herdsmen.
It would be recalled that crisis broke out in Adeke, weekend, after suspected Tiv youths allegedly killed over 30 cows belonging to some herdsmen residing in the area, leading to the break down of peace in the community.
Since the commencement of the crisis, all schools, shops and other business outlets as well as the mammy market near the mobile police barracks in the area had remained closed.
It was also gathered that the herdsmen who had lived in a settlement within the community had since the commencement of the crisis evacuated their children and wives to neighbouring Nasarawa State preparatory to a major onslaught.
A mobile police officer who spoke to Vanguard on grounds of anonymity, said: “There is palpable tension in the entire community. Three persons have lost their lives in this crisis and many are still missing. No one is sure of the next move of the herdsmen, that is why most families have deserted their homes.”
Reacting to the development, the lawmaker representing Makurdi South constituency at the State House of Assembly, Mr. Benjamin Adanyi said: “With what we see happening in Adeke, I would not be surprised if the Fulani mercenaries decide to match into the heart of Makurdi town in the coming days.
“I strongly believe this could be an orchestrated plan by the caliphate to annihilate smaller communities and extend its influence over them.”
On his part, the Benue state Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Archbishop Yiman Orkwar said: “A jihad has been declared on Benue State and the Federal Government seems unperturbed and people are being killed by people who have no regards for human lives.”
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent Daniel Ezeala said security had been beefed up in the community to forestal further crisis.