By Peter Duru, Makurdi
A three-month-old baby, a couple and one other were yesterday afternoon reportedly shot dead by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen at Ulevkaa community in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.
The incident came less than 48 hours after a similar attack on that axis led to the death of two aid workers and six others including a kinsman of Governor Samuel Ortom.
According to an eyewitness, unknown to commuters, the armed militia herdsmen had taken over the Uikpam – Umenger – Gbajimba road waiting for unsuspecting victims.
“They saw a commercial Toyota Picnic vehicle heading towards Gbajimba, they pretended to be passengers and waved at the car as passengers. When the driver became suspicious of them he increased his speed and made effort to flee.
“But the others who hid in front saw that the driver was making effort to run away with his passengers from the trap, they opened fire on the vehicle.
“A bullet hit the three-month-old baby on the chest and scattered his ribs. One of the bullets also caught the mother on the lap giving her a terrible injury.
“The driver manger to escape with the passengers but unfortunately the baby died on the way before reaching the hospital in Daudu. Though the mother luckily survived and was taken to the hospital.
“Probably angered by the failed operation the armed herders waited for other victims. One of them was identified as one Terver and his wife who they seized and slaughtered and their remains dumped by the roadside.
“Also, a firewood seller identified as Solomon Kumaiin, who was on a motorbike was also shot and killed by the fierce-looking herders,” he said.
According to the eyewitness, on noticing what was happening, the driver of another vehicle that was directly behind the Toyota quickly reversed and drove straight to nearby Uikpam village that is home to an IDP camp and a military checkpoint to report the matter.
“The soldiers quickly mobilized and went to the scene of the attack. The attackers had already fled but they conveyed some of the victims to the Clinic in Daudu.”
Vanguard gathered that the remains of the victims had been deposited at a mortuary in Daudu where all the injured were receiving treatment.
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene said she was yet to receive details of the incident.