herdsmen

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

Six persons were early Thursday morning murdered by suspected armed herdsmen and several others sustained injuries in a fresh attack on Iye community, Uvir Council Ward and Yelwata all in Guma Local Government Area of Benue state

The latest attack is coming about 48 hours after a similar attack by the herders on Nzorov, Governor Samuel Ortom’s home town in the same Guma LGA, left five persons dead and two others severely injured.

An indigene of the area, Joseph Degh told Vanguard that the invaders stormed the communities from neighbouring Nasarawa state at about 3am killing four fishermen at Ake pond in Iye community while two others were killed and several others sustained severe injuries at Yelwata community where the armed herders struck at about the same time.

“The simultaneous attacks on the two communities about 48 hours after the attack on Nzorov appeared more like a coordinated attack on Guma LGA. And our fear is that this is how the 2018 massacre started; and as usual the armed herdsmen come from Nasarawa state and retreat after killing our people for no reason at all,” he said.

Confirming the latest attack, the Chairman of Guma LGA, Mr. Caleb Abah said it was unprovoked and premeditated lamenting that 11 lives had been lost in Guma due to herdsmen attacks in a space of two days.

According to the Chairman, “four of the victims were fishermen who usually relocate to the Ake pond area at Iye village Uvir Council Ward to fish. They go there and make temporary tents as they fish, after which they process and dry the fishes.

“It was while there that the Fulani militia crossed over from Nasarawa state around 3 and 4am, attacked and killed four of them. It was also around the same time that the armed herders attacked Yelwata shooting sporadically and killed two persons as well as injuring several others.

“One cannot explain the reasons for this renewed killings because there was no provocation at all. The herders just came, attack the people and run back into Nasarawa state.

“We took the injured to hospitals and also told our people be on the watch-out to report suspicious movements to police authorities. But the situation is that of fear of what would happen next because just two days ago five persons were killed in Ndzorov Council Ward and now this; it is unacceptable.”

Reacting, Governor Samuel Ortom in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur reiterated his earlier call on the Federal Government to step up security operations along the crisis areas along the Benue-Nasarawa state borders.

He cautioned that “the patience of the people who are now victims and rendered homeless by the murderous activities of the Fulani militia should not be tested any longer. We should not push the victims into looking for self-help because this will not be good for the unity of this country.” 

He added, “I have repeatedly called on the Federal Government to convoke a national security summit of all ethnic nationalities to find a lasting solutions to the increasing wave of terrorism that is gradually tearing up the bond in our nation. And I repeat that this is the time.”

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