By Peter Duru
Makurdi – A Makurdi Primary School Head Teacher, Mr. Stephen Tavaku, his Junior Secondary School counterpart, Mr. Christian Anankpa and four others, including women have been reportedly waylaid and killed by suspected militant herdsmen at Mbatonbo community in Gwer local government area of Benue state.
Vanguard gathered from family sources and friends of the victims that they were executives of a thrift and cooperative society in their schools.
“They met their death in the community bordering Makurdi local government where they had gone to negotiate the procurement of a farmland for their thrift and cooperative society when they were ambushed by the herdsmen.
According to our source, “the victims were among the 10 person who on Wednesday went to the area to survey and acquire some farmland for rice cultivation under the umbrella of their teachers’ cooperative society.
“Unknown to them, the militant herdsmen were camped in the area. They got ambushed and trapped in the bush by the armed herdsmen who killed six of them but four others managed to escaped with machete wounds.
“After the attack those who managed to escape raised alarm when they discovered that others did not escape. The matter was immediately reported to the Police who embarked on a search of the area for them.
“Unfortunately the remains of the six of them were later discovered and recovered from the bush on Thursday and Friday with the assistance of the security operatives.
“The thrift and cooperative society had in the past engaged in rice farming at Yogbo community in Guma local government area but because of the level of insecurity in that area they opted to secure the farmland at Mbataonbo community but they still got killed.
“Mr. Stephen Tavaku was the Headmaster of St. Mary’s Primary School, North Bank in Makurdi while Mr. Christian Anankpa, was the Basic Science Teacher at St. Mary’s UBE Junior Secondary School also in the North Bank area of Makurdi town.
“Their remains have been deposited at a private hospital in Makurdi while the injured are also currently receiving treatment in private clinics in the town.
Efforts to reach the Benue state Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni for confirmation was unsuccessful as call put to his mobile phone was not responded to as he was said to be busy with the activities to ensure security at the APC State Congress.