…Suspected herders kill 4 villagers in Enugu
…Gunmen shoot, stab bizman to death in Ibadan
…Pregnant woman killed in Nasarawa
…12 killed, many missing in Benue communities
By Peter Duru, Peter Okutu, Ikechukwu Odu, Ola Ajayi & David Odama
FIFTY four Nigerians were reportedly killed by suspected herdsmen and gunmen in different attacks carried out in Ebonyi, Benue, Enugu, Nasarawa and Oyo states, but police denied reported killings in Ebonyi state.
The suspected herdsmen, yesterday, attacked Odoke, Ndiobasi and Obakotara communities in Ebonyi Local Government Area of the state where no fewer than 30 Ebonyi indigenes were killed.
The affected communities share a boundary with Ado Local Government Area in Benue State.
A resident in the area, Uchenna Okpokwu, said the herdsmen invaded his community with guns and machetes around 3 am, yesterday.
“They came into Ndiobasi village and started slaughtering people. After slaughtering them, they entered Odoke, from there they went to Obapta.
“Currently, people that were slaughtered in Ndiobasi are up to 30 according to the video clips on the incident but Odoke and Obapta are very far and nobody was able to enter the two villages to capture those that were killed.
“When I received a call from one of my villagers over the attack, he told me that the herdsmen are currently at Ojaba forest and that place is their hideout because there is no other way for them to escape. The herdsmen are currently in that forest as at the time I was called on the phone.
“I was told our local government chairman went with some security men but couldn’t get to the affected villages. If there is a way security agents will be sent to the affected villages, it will be good.
“Currently, I have been trying to reach my family members on phone but their lines are not going through and all of them are in the village.”
Another resident of the area, Onyibe Jeremiah, lamented that no action was taken to protect the communities despite earlier warnings of the herdsmen’s impending attacks.
Hé said: ”One young man from Enugu State that saw the herdsmen when they were coming into the Ebonyi villages made the voice call that went viral to alert the state but it appeared that it was ignored, which was why these attacks were recorded despite the alert.
2 children die on way to hospital
The Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team, AMURT, confirmed that two children were killed while being taken to the hospital for treatment.
The NGO said it has sent a team to the area to help in the treatment and evacuation of victims.
A statement by AMURT West Africa said: “Terrible scenes at Ohagelode Health Centre this morning. An attack on an Izzi village inside Benue State, allegedly by herdsmen, resulted in many casualties.
“Many were carried to Ohagelode Health Centre. The Uloanwu Ambulance was called and 11 persons, six adults and five children were transported to AEFUTHA in Abakaliki.
“Sadly two children died after reaching AEFUTHA. An AMURT team of doctors, led by Dr Omogo, the MD of AMURT, has rushed to Ohagelode. We are trying to support the wounded carried to AEFUTHA.”
Chairman of Ebonyi Local Government Area, Chinyere Nwaogbaga, who confirmed the incident, said she went to the area and helped to evacuate many of the residents from the area to the hospital.
“Yes, the communities are Izzi, a clan in Ebonyi, speaking communities but they are geographically located in Benue. Since they are indigenes of Ebonyi though located in Benue, the state governor directed we go and bring them to hospital and treat them and also give them relief materials”.
Police deny attack on Ebonyi communities
But the Ebonyi State Police Command, yesterday, denied there was herdsmen attack in Ebonyi Local Government Area of the State.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Loveth Odah, said: “The attention of the Ebonyi State Police Command has been drawn to the pictures/news items in circulation on some social media platforms misinforming the public that a village in Ebonyi Local Government Area of Ebonyi State was under herdsmen attack.
“To set the records straight, the information reaching the command has it that the attack happened at Nwori Ndobasi and Odoke villages in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State in the early hours of today (yesterday).
“As it were, Sunday is their market day, so traders from Ebonyi LGA crossed over to buy and sell as had been the practice over the years and were caught in the crossfire during the attack. There was no attack on any village in Ebonyi LGA as widely reported on some social media platforms and other conventional media outlets.”
12 killed, many missing in Benue communities
But reports from Ado Local Government Area of Benue State, yesterday, revealed that no fewer than 12 persons were killed by suspected armed herdsmen in simultaneous attacks on communities bordering Ebonyi State, weekend.
The attacks, which led to the disappearance of many and displacement of over 5,000 persons affected Obakoto, Odirewu, Offianka, Nwedoga, Tologa, Ndi-Obasi, Odoken communities in Ekile Council Ward of Ijigban district of Ado LGA.
Vanguard gathered that the invaders also destroyed houses and food barns in the affected communities.
According to the source, “it was around 11 pm on Saturday that we received calls from our people that attackers suspected to be herdsmen had invaded our ward killing and setting houses on fire.
Confirming the attack on Ekile, the Ado Chairman, Oche explained that the attack could be a reprisal for the murder of an elderly herder, Muhammad Isah, about two months ago by suspected militia or IPOB members from neighbouring Ebonyi State in one of the affected communities.
Suspected herders kill 4 villagers in Enugu
Also, Mgbuji community in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State was, weekend, reportedly attacked by suspected herdsmen that gruesomely murdered no fewer than four persons.
It was gathered that trouble started when the suspected herders were interrupted from cutting down an economic tree to feed their cattle.
The interruption, according to some villagers, who pleaded anonymity, led to a brawl between the community members and the herders.
It was also learned that the community members succeeded in pursuing the nomads and their cattle from further destruction of the economic tree.
However, on what appeared like a calculated revenge mission, the herders reinforced and attacked the community, killing four persons in the early hours of Friday.
Confirming the incident, spokesperson of Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, said the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Aliyu, has ordered a discreet investigation to unravel the circumstances surrounding the attack.
Gunmen shoot, stab bizman to death in Ibadan
In Ibadan, Oyo State capital, a popular Igbo businessman, Linus Owuamanam, was Saturday night shot dead by unknown gunmen.
Vanguard gathered that the assailants waylaid him along Sango Road around 8 pm.
The news of the businessman was broken by his younger brother, Jude Owuamanam, who said; “Yes, it is true. They have killed my brother. He was shot dead by some gunmen in Ibadan. The family is in pains now.”
It was gathered that the deceased was in his newly acquired Hummer Toyota bus with one of his staff when the assailants stopped his vehicle and fired shots at him.
To ensure he did not survive the attack, he was reportedly stabbed severally on the left side of his chest after which they fled the scene.
Confirming the incident, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Adewale Osifeso, said: “It is true the unfortunate incident happened yesterday (Saturday) night. But I will get the full details for you on Monday (today) because we have commenced investigation into the matter.”
Pregnant woman killed in Nasarawa
A pregnant woman was allegedly killed, Saturday, by suspected gunmen in Abebe village, Agaza district of Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
The gunmen, who were said to be armed with sophisticated weapons, opened fire on the villagers, killing a pregnant woman while others scampered for safety.
It was gathered that the Abebe village has been under threat by some farmers of Alago extraction from Obi town in Obi Local Government Area of the state whose efforts to forcefully takeover some hectares of farmland belonging to the Tiv farmers of the community have continued to be met with stiff resistance.
Reacting to the incident, the TIDA President, Peter Ahemba, alleged that the attacks and killing of Tiv people of Nasarawa State in the last two months was targeted at chasing them out of the state by some forces,
He condemned the killings and destruction of the Tiv people and urged groups or ethnic nationality with grievances against the Tiv people to involve a civilised approach towards addressing their grievances rather than taking undue advantage of the insecurity situation in the southern part of the state to unleashed mayhem on the innocent people which he said was counterproductive and detrimental to the unity, peace and security of the state.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of the Nasarawa State Command, ASP Ramhan Nansel, denied knowledge of the attack.
He, however, admitted that somebody called him from a village around the alleged affected Community to intimate him of the incident, but said the command was yet to receive an official report from the said community.