From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
At least 17 people have reportedly been murdered by suspected herdsmen in separate attacks across three communities in Guma, Benue State.
The attacks, said to have started almost a week ago, has resulted in the death of the 17 people, with others injured
Speaking to newsmen on Saturday at Uikpam in Guma, a former Speaker of the State Assembly, Hon Dave Iorhemba, disclosed that the affected communities are Ajimaka, Ayeri and Tse-Gboigyo, all in Mbaye/Yandev council ward of Guma.
‘In the last couple of weeks, there have been series of attacks in some particular areas like Tse- Ukor where scores were killed and at Tse-Gborigyo, where seven people were killed and several others injured and taken to the hospital for treatment,’ he said.
‘What is most disturbing was the recent attack that happened at Tse-Uhembe in which a Fulani herdsman butchered a farmer in several places and the said farmer also countered by cutting him and both of them were brought to a military check point.
‘Just on Wednesday, I was at Tyoha village to see those killed and injured and one of the victims was a teacher at the NKST Primary School Isherev, Mr Hycinth Ajun, who had his throat and back of his neck slit. I wonder what that kind of heinous crime meant.’
Asked to give the number of casualties recorded between Friday and Saturday, the former Speaker said: ‘The number of persons we have counted between yesterday and today is up to 17 and some are badly injured and are receiving treatment in the hospital.’
Iorhemba commended troops of joint military Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) for their efforts at taming the attacks, but added that a lot more needed to be done.
‘They (troops) should be moved because when they continue to stay in one place, they become conversant and used to the people and they certainly cannot act in the way and manner they should. So, I would suggest that the federal government should redeploy them; take them to other points.’
He also commended Governor Samuel Ortom, who he said had assisted in the payment of the medical bills of those who were injured.
The spokeswoman of the Benue State Police Command, DSP Catherine Anene, could not be reached for confirmation of the report at the time of this report.