Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
At least, ten persons have been reportedly killed by suspected herdsmen during a midnight attack on Tse Uoreleyev community of Mbabai council ward in Guma Local government area of Benue State.
According to sources from the area, the invaders stormed the village while the locals were sleeping outside as a result of the hot weather. They were said to have shot sporadically in all direction.
And by the time the smoke from the guns have settled, ten persons were left dead while a few others sustained injuries, a development which has forced many of the villagers to seek refuge in other parts of the state for fear of another attack.
Chairman of Guma Local Government Area, Anthony Shawon, who confirmed the attack said the ten persons were murdered in their sleep by the assailants whom he insisted were Fulani herdsmen.
Shawon noted that the villagers recovered the bodies of the murdered victims and had to bury them immediately because of the gruesome manner in which they were killed.
Although, the council boss insisted the act was perpetrated by armed herdsmen, one of the villagers who confided in newsmen thought otherwise saying Tse Uoreleyev does not share a boundary with either Nasarawa or Taraba states where the herdsmen issue is very prevalent.
“Tse Uoreleyev, Mbabai council ward is not at the border area where we normally have security challenges. So one wonders how herdsmen could have crossed to that point. If you trace the route used by the attackers, you would get to Tyodu village where there is a T-junction.
“From there, you will trek for about five kilometers up to River Guma which is on a high ground that even humans have to struggle to cross. Across the river is a village called Tse Faasema where the road divides into two. If you take to the right, you will get to Umenger but if you go to the left, you are heading for Gbajimba, headquarters of Guma Local government area.
“Between Tse Faasema village and Gbajimba towns is a thickly-forested area. So, whoever did the killing must have come from the forest area which has no boundary with Nasarawa or Taraba states,” our source said.
When contacted, Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Major General Adeyemi Yekini, said he was yet to get details of what happened and could not comment on the matter at the time of filing this report.
“I will brief you later once I get more information, thanks,” Yekini said.