By Aboje Anefu, Makurdi
NO fewer than 25 persons including a traditional ruler, Zaki Unongo Shaayange were Monday night reportedly killed in three separate attacks on communities in Logo, Tarka and Guma Local Government Areas, LGAs, of Benue state by suspected armed herdsmen.
The attack also left many hospitalised with severe machete and gunshot injuries.
According to a community leader, Chief Joseph Anawa, the armed herdsmen numbering about six
blocked and took over the Anyiin-Tse Kile road in Ukemberagya Ward of Gaambetiev Logo LGA on Monday night at about 7:15.
“They shot and killed the traditional ruler, Zaki Unongo Shaayange at Ikyaan village, matcheted many who are now in critical condition at the NKST Hospital Anyiin. One of the victims of the attack, Mr. Aondoakura Kile also disclosed that the Fulani terrorists made away with some Baja motorcycles of their victims,” Anawa said.
In same vein, nine persons were gunned down the same Monday night at about 8pm by armed Fulani herdsmen who invaded Tse-Sumaka village near Umenge, Mbadwem Council Ward in Guma LGA.
The marauders were reported to have invaded the community from neighbouring Nasarawa state, shooting sporadically and chasing their victims out of their homes.
“They shot at the people as they fled and anyone they caught up with was not spared. Nine persons were killed and many others sustained injuries. As we speak women and children are fleeing their homes in their numbers in search of safe areas in neighboring communities to hide themselves,” a local source said.
Confirming the attack, the Guma Local Government Council Chairman, Mr. Caleb Aba, told newsmen on phone that the attack was unprovoked adding “these days these Fulani herdsmen don’t have to be provoked before they attack and kill because the agenda is to chase us away from our ancestral homes and occupy our land.”
It was also gathered that the armed herders at about the same time also invaded Tiortyu community which is less than 18 kilometres from Makurdi town, on Makurdi-Gboko road in Tarka LGA where 15 persons including women were either hacked or shot dead.
That attack triggered an angry protest by the youths of the area who took over the busy Makurdi-Gboko road where they laid the corpses of the victim for several hours, stopping all vehicular movement on that axis of the state.
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom, has restated his call on the people of the state to rise up and defend themselves and save their families from the mindless killings being perpetrated in the state by the marauders.
The Governor who was reacting to the simultaneous attacks in the three LGAs, in a statement issued Tuesday in Makurdi by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, reassured that his government would not shy away from its commitment to provide welfare and security for the people.
“It is becoming increasingly glaring everyday that my people are now endangered specie and so we can no longer wait for help from anywhere. My people will have to rise up to the occasion to defend themselves and their heritage against the Fulani army of occupation.
“We are law abiding citizens. We have cried for help against these invaders but nothing is forthcoming. We are left alone and it looks like it is a deliberate strategy. Now we have only one option; to defend ourselves or get extinct. This is a case for our survival.
“We have been accommodating of other people in our land but our hospitality is misconstrued as weakness. We are not a conquered people. We will never be. We are free born citizens of Nigeria,” the governor stated.
He, however, enjoined security operatives to do more in crime prevention and protection of lives and property in the land just as he urged the people to cooperate with security agencies to flush out the undesirable elements in the society.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Catherine Anene, said she was at the scene of the incident with the Commissioner of Police and would communicate appropriately.
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ROYAL NEWS eCopy March 28, 2022
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