Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Ten people were feared killed by Fulani herdsmen in Mbakyondo, Mbakpa and Sengaev communities in Agagbe District of Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State, yesterday.
Sources from the area told newsmen that herdsmen stormed the communities at about 2:00am on Wednesday, and shot sporadically; in all directions.
Many villagers were said to have been killed in their sleep and several others injured. Several houses were also said to have been razed by the invading herdsmen.
Daily Sun gathered that the invasion may not be unconnected with the alleged clash between some youths in Mbakpa community and some Fulani herdsmen in the area early this week.
It was further gathered that during the clash, one Fulani herder was missing even as the development led to exodus of locals from the community for fear of a reprisal.
Speaking with newsmen, Commissioner of Police in the state, Fatai Owoseni, who confirmed the clash, said the police command is already in talks with the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and the body of herders on the matter.
“Gwer West Local Government in Mbakpa community woke up to a report that the youths in that community led an attack on some herdsmen in the area. There is now an exodus of members of the community into Naka town for fear of a reprisal.
“We are still talking with leaders of herdsmen in that area to ascertain the level of casualty. We heard that one of the herdsmen is missing and we immediately got in touch with leadership of MACBAN and the body of herders in order to douse and prevent an escalation of anything that could come as reprisal.
The commissioner, who warned that his command will not tolerate any form of self help, urged the general public to report any form of security threat in their areas, instead of taking laws into their hands.”
Thereafter, Owoseni confirmed only two casualities and added that the perpetiators were “transborder criminals operating in the state.”