By Peter Duru, Makurdi
No fewer than four mourners were early Saturday reportedly gunned down by suspected armed herdsmen who stormed a Christian wake at Mbayatyo, Mbater Council Ward of Logo Local Government Area of Benue state.
The attackers also left five others with serious injuries at the said wake that was held in honour of one Mama Achin Adingi.
Vanguard gathered from a source in the area that the attackers probably staged a reprisal a week after they had a dispute with the locals who chased them from the community after stopping them from polluting a water source in the area with the cattle.
“As a result of the dispute, the people chased the herdsmen away from the area which is known for its lush green grass not knowing that the herders will come back from the neighbouring community where they ran to, to attack the village.
“Very early this morning they stormed the compound where a Christian wake was going on and opened fire on the mourners leaving four dead and several others injured,” he said.
Contacted, the Chairman of Logo LGA, Mr Terser Agber who said he had visited the scene of the attack, explained that “the information I have is that it happened at about 2. am today Saturday. The victims were in the wake of an elderly woman who died at Agidi.
“Initially, they (mourners) never knew what was happening they now saw armed Fulani herdsmen who came in their numbers, over 10 of them. They were said to have shot sporadically in the air which created a stampede and several persons were hit by stray bullets. Four died and five others who were critically wounded are at the General Hospital, Ugba receiving treatment.
“The Policemen were informed and as I said earlier I have personally visited the place though very far away but I went there to have first-hand information before meeting the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of Logo LGA. I have also informed the Governor and Security Adviser about the incident.”
Asked if the attackers were not a gang of local militia, the Chairman said “the attackers were not local militias. The villagers claimed that they had squabbled with the Fulani herdsmen at their settlement area, the place is waterlogged, the grass there is green so when the people had a squabble with them they drove herdsmen away. This happened more than a week ago which may have triggered the reprisal.”