By Peter Duru, Makurdi
The Divisional Police Officers, DPO, in charge of Gwer West Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue State, Mr Mamud Abubakar, two police personnel, two children and three women have been reportedly killed in separate attacks on Benue communities by suspected armed herdsmen.
It was gathered from a source in Naka, the Gwer West Headquarters, who spoke on condition of anonymity that the murdered DPO and the two other police personnel were ambushed and killed Tuesday afternoon on Makurdi-Naka road shortly after alerting the military personnel on a checkpoint on the road of the presence of a large number of armed herdsmen on the axis and their intension to attack the communities in Gwer West.
According to the source, “after alerting the military personnel of the presence of a large number of armed herdsmen on that stretch of road, the military personnel were mobilising to move into the area while the DPO who was accompanied by two other policemen moved ahead slowly.
“But unknown to them, the armed herders had already moved close to a particular spot at Imande community near a bridge where women sell roasted yam to travellers on the road. They shot and killed the three of them and a farmer who was at the time returning from the farm.
“As we speak the people on that axis have all deserted their homes. Though before now many had packed away from their ancestral homes when it was noticed that armed herdsmen were moving in droves into communities on that axis.”
Meanwhile the attack on the Makurdi-Naka road came after a similar attack on Udei and Torkula villages in Guma LGA claimed the lives of two children and three women.
It was gathered from sources in the area that the two children aged between 10 and 13 were murdered by the marauders who stormed Udei at about 9pm on Monday while the three women were killed by the marauders in Torkula village at about the same time.
“They came shooting sporadically in Udei vllage around 9pm; the people scampered but unfortunately two children were gunned down by the terrorists.
“While that attack was going on, another group almost simultaneously invaded Torkula village where three women were also murdered. As I speak to you there is tension in Guma and people in neighbouring villages are gearing up for any eventuality.”
Contacted, the Chairman of Guma LGA, Dr. Mike Uba said he was yet to get full details of the development adding, “I have already sent my Security Secretary to the affected communities to ascertain what happened and the number of casualties.”
On her part, the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene who confirmed the attack and murder of the DPO in Gwer West LGA said she was yet to receive full details of the incident.
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