…Villagers desert communities over rumour of another attack
By Boluwaji Obahopo, Lokoja
The death toll in Kogi killings by Fulani herdsmen in five communities in Igalaland has reportedly risen from 32 to 50 as more corpses were picked around the communities especially in Oganenigwu, Dekina local government area of the state.
Also, residents of Abejukolo and Agbenema communities in Omala Council area have deserted their villages over fear of another attack by the herdsmen.
The residents are presently relocating massively to the neighbouring areas of Anyigba, Egume and other areas for their safety.
This is coming as the People’s Democratic Party, PDP has blamed the sustained killing of over 32 persons in Dekina and Omala LGAs on Governor Yahaya Bello, saying the governor’s open invitation to the rampaging herdsmen and the setting up of cattle colonies without adequate security measures put in place, led to the killings.
A source said the death toll in Oganenigwu from the sustained invasion by the fulani herdsmen has risen beyond the quoted 32, “As at present no body can say the exact number of victims because many families were yet to locate their relatives,” the source said.
The source said as a result of the attack, other villages around Oganenigwu community have been deserted because of fear of reprisal attack.
Reacting to the development, the PDP said the governor’s open invitation to the rampaging herdsmen and the setting up of cattle colonies without adequate security measures put in place, led to the killings.
Kogi PDP Director of Research and Documentation, Achadu Dickson said the governor should explain his role in the killing following his insistent nature for the Fulani to relocate to the state amidst disapproval by the people.
The party also condemned the gruesome murder of innocent citizens by the herders, adding that their action has vindicated the party’s position from the onset that establishment of cattle colonies was an invitation to anarchy.
“While we commiserate with the families who lost their loved ones, we call for a further arrest of the crisis by the security agencies as it is one death too many in the country as it will do one any good”. “We called on the governor to renounce his action of setting up colonies in the state, make a public apology of his action, and adequately compensate those who lost lives and properties.” “The times under Governor Bello is “hell on earth” for Kogi people. Despite his inability to pay salaries, after inflicting so much hardship on the people, his policy to set up cattle colonies has once again added more pains on the people.”