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Herdsmen kill 7 Benue farmers after soldiers depart

By Cephas Iorhemen, Makurdi on 09/04/2018

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•Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State
•Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State

At least seven farmers were said to have been killed in the last one week in Logo local government area of Benue state by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen immediately after the soldiers deployed to the area known as Exercise Ayem A Kpatuma (Cat Race) had concluded their operation and departed from the state.

This is as the herdsmen on Saturday, attacked the Okoklo community in the Agatu LGA of Benue State, killing Mr. Andrew Ataboh and his son, Benjamin, while they were working on their farm at Inahem.

Investigation by New Telegraph from Anyiin, the traditional headquarters of Logo local government area yesterday showed that most of those killed were fleeing refugees returning to their ancestral homes to continue with normal farming activities when they were felled by the guns of the killer herdsmen.

Four Tiv farmers including a Yoruba man were reportedly killed in Tombo council ward and three others at Ukemberagya council ward all in the local government.

Sources said the rampaging herdsmen also used to block the roads and footpaths linking the troubled communities dispossessing them of their monies and other valuable items including motorcycles before killing them.

A resident of Anyiin, Chief Joseph Anawa who spoke with New Telegraph on telephone said “since soldiers of the Ayem A Kpatuma also known as cat race left the communities, the Fulani herdsmen have been attacking farmers on a daily basis”.

“They killed four people in Tombo council ward, a Yoruba man and another man as well as one person at Ukemberagya Tswarev council ward bringing the total number of people killed to seven”.

Chief Anawa lamented that the presence of the soldiers who were deployed to the state to help maintain peace “did not help matters because they were allegedly aiding the invasion of the armed herdsmen into homes of innocent people whose homes are now deserted”.

He said for now, the possibility of fleeing farmers to return to their homes is not possible due to growing tension that has enveloped the entire local government.

He appealed to the federal government to immediately deploy dozens of armed mobile policemen to troubled villages to facilitate the quick return to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) back to their homes especially now that farming activities were fast approaching.

In Agatu, it was gathered that the killer herdsmen mutilated the private parts of the victims.

A resident of the community, who is the Supervisory Councillor for Finance and Appropriation in the Agatu LGA, Mr. John lkwulono, said the herdsmen, after hacking the father and son to death, removed their vital organs and dumped their bodies in the bush.

Ikwulono alleged that about five officers of the Armed Forces deployed in the Okokolo area for protection were withdrawn to Makurdi without any reason, leaving the community prone to attacks.

He said, “I had earlier alerted members of the public and the concerned authorities prior to these killings that herdsmen were planning to attack my community but I got no response from anyone, not even the security operatives. (New Telegraph)


Source News Express

Posted 09/04/2018 1:49:27 PM





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