BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI—No fewer than 33 persons were feared dead in a fresh outbreak of fighting between suspected Fulani herdsmen and native farmers in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State.
Vanguard gathered from eyewitnesses that the crisis, which erupted Saturday and lasted till yesterday, some of the victims burnt beyond recognition. It also led to the burning down of over 30 houses and huts, including several farmlands and fish ponds owned by the natives.
According to the source, “the Fulani herdsmen had invaded Ojantele, Okpagabi and Ibadan in Agatu council on Saturday, killing close to 10 people.
“From there, they ambushed about three people from Agatu, who were going to a neighbouring villages in Apa Local Government Area of the state and slaughtered them in cold blood.”
The unwarranted killing and destruction of houses, huts and farms prompted a reprisal attack on Sunday at the Fulani settlement in a boarder village between Apa and Agatu, where a free for all ensued leading to the death of many more people.
“The development has led to villagers living at the border of both Apa and Agatu councils fleeing their abode and taking refuge in neighouring towns and villages for fear of being killed by the mercenaries, who have taken over the fighting.”
When contacted, Secretary, Miyette Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Benue State chapter, Garus Gololo told Journalists that last night, no fewer than 20 Fulanis were killed in the fighting.