***troops repel attack, neutralize five
By Peter Duru – Makurdi
A family of four and three others were Saturday morning shot and butchered by suspected Fulani militia at Mbamondu community, Makurdi Modern Market Council Ward in Makurdi Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state
The attackers also inflicted serious injuries on five others out of which three are in critical condition. It was gathered that among those killed were two children of ages 10 and 12.
In his account of the incident, an indigene of the community and the State Commissioner for Lands, Survey, and Solid Minerals, Mr. Bernard Unenge stated that the attack was unprovoked.
According to him, “the entire thing started at about 1 am today Saturday when I got a call from my village, Mbamondu community in Makurdi Modern Market Council Ward of Makurdi LGA, that my people were being attacked by Fulani herdsmen militia.
“We had to call on the security operatives that were station around Adaka community, though they responded but when they got there the people had killed my people.
“We discovered seven dead bodies that we have already deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Makurdi mortuary. Five persons were also injured and three of them are very critical.
“It is heartrending and tragic because my people did not incite or provoke the attack. They came into my village, started shooting sporadically, and when people were running out of their houses to flee for safety they shot and butchered them like animals.
“In one family they killed four people, a father of about 70 years, his son, and his three grandchildren.
“This happened just within the 16 kilometers radius and two kilometers after Adaka community here in Makurdi,” the Commissioner said in an emotion-laden voice.
Meanwhile, troops of the joint security operation codenamed Operation Whirl Stroke, OPWS have reportedly neutralized five members of the militia and injured some during a gunfight as they beat a retreat on the Benue and Nasarawa border.
According to security sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, troops of OPWS backed by aerial support chased the attackers as they retreated towards neighbouring Nasarawa state.
“They were trapped between Benue and Nasarawa states by the troops who were supported in the air as well.
“In the ensuing gunfight five of the attackers were gunned down and some others fled with bullet wounds but the troops are still chasing them.
“The intervention of the OPWS saved communities on that axis from sequence of attacks because these armed herders have resorted to hit-and-run tactics to kill innocent people in Benue communities but they will all meet their waterloo because whatever tactics they adopt the OPWS is equal to the task,” he added.
Efforts to get the reaction of the OPWS Commander, Maj. Gen. Adeyemi Yekini failed as his phones were switched off.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene who confirmed the attack said “a team of Police officers has been deployed to the area to forestall further breakdown of law and order.”
She promised to avail newsmen more information on the attack.