From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
No fewer than eight persons including a traditional ruler were reportedly killed by suspected armed herdsmen during a midnight attack on Tse-Ancha community in Makurdi Local government of Benue State.
The attack on Tse-Ancha community which is located less than a kilometre from Abagena IDP camp is coming about three weeks after an attack on Abagena IDP camp community in which seven persons were killed and several others injured.
It was learnt that the invaders attacked Tse-Ancha less than 24 hours after the remains of the seven Abagena attack victims were laid to rest.
Confirming the attack, the chairman of Makurdi local council, Anthony Dyegeh, told newsmen by telephone that the attackers were Fulani herdsmen, adding that eight corpses (seven men and one woman) were recovered from the scene of the attack.
Dyegeh who disclosed that he was just returning from the scene of the attack at the time of this report, said five other locals were badly injured and had been taken to Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) in Makurdi.
“It happened around 11:55 pm and eight people were killed and five injured and they have been taken to the teaching hospital; among those killed was the kindred head of the village.
“The kindred head was among the people that accompanied me yesterday (Friday) to the burial of the seven people that were killed at Abagena IDP camp. We parted around 9.00 pm only for him to be killed five minutes before midnight alongside others.”
The council boss who noted that he was just returning after an on-the-spot assessment of the area, said he had directed the evacuation of the corpses to the mortuary and the injured to the hospital.
Dyegeh said an ATM card bearing Audullayi Sabo with life and empty bullets were picked at the scene of the attack.
He condemned the attacks on innocent people of Benue State, and called on various security agencies to stand up to their duties of securing the live and properties of the citizens of Benue State.
Also speaking, the Special Adviser to the Governor of Benue State on Security Matters, Col. Paul Hemba (rtd), stressed the need for the people to stand up to defend themselves and their lands.
He sent the governor’s condolences to the people and prayed for peace to return in the state.
On his part, the member representing Makurdi/Guma federal constituency, Hon. Mzondu Benjamin Bem, while strongly condemning the attack, called on security agencies to step up their game of protecting the lives and property of the Benue people.
Mzondu, in a statement by his media coordinator, Norman Skilful, promised to sustain his continual stride and tireless efforts toward ensuring that attacks on innocent citizens of the state are stopped through viable legislation and engagement with relevant/critical stakeholders in finding a lasting solution to the ongoing annihilation of law-abiding Benue citizens.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene confirmed the attack in a short telephone message.