Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
No fewer than five persons were allegedly killed by invading Fulani herdsmen in Umenger, Guma Local Government Area of Benue State, on Sunday night.
Daily Sun gathered from locals, who fled the community, that the affected villagers had gone to check their burnt houses in the village to see how they would be able to repair them and return back home following the commencement of the military Exercise Ayem Akpatuma in the state.
Our source who managed to escape the attack said unknown to the villagers, the Fulani herdsmen had laid ambush for them and as soon as they were approaching the village, they (herders) opened fired on them killing five on the spot.
Confirming the report, Security Adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom, Col. Paul Hemba (rtd), said two people, a man and a woman, were killed in the village by the herdsmen, adding that the invaders had taken over the whole village after forcefully ejecting the locals sometime ago.
He noted that the herdsmen, who had camped on a hill where they monitor anyone coming into the village, saw three villagers coming on a motorcycle and opened fire on them killing two of them on the spot while one of them managed to escape.
“The villagers were on a hike heading to Umenger which is close to Gbajimba that houses the headquarter of the Ex Ayem Apkatuma when the Fulani herdsmen who have occupied the area hid on a hill and attacked them killing two of the villagers while the motorcycle rider managed to escape.”
He said the policemen posted to the village were complaining that they don’t have a functional vehicle adding that the military have promised to go on operation there on Tuesday.
According to him, corpses of the two deceased victims have been evacuated to Makurdi and deposited at the morgue of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH).
Efforts to get the state police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Moses Yamu, failed as several calls to his mobile telephone line could not connect because his line was engaged at the time of filing this report.