■ 3 confirmed killed, houses razed
By Rose Ejembi, Makurdi.
Just five days after some gunmen attacked and killed several people in Zaki-Biam, headquarters of Ukum Local Government Area, Benue State, no fewer than three residents were killed in a fresh attack on Tse-Chia village near Kasar in Zaki-Biam. Sources from the area disclosed that the gunmen who were alleged to be on a reprisal mission after they identified the driver of the vehicle, which the Monday invaders used to attack the Zaki-Biam International Yam Market and its environs, to have come from Tse-Chia village.
“You know that the Monday attack was in broad daylight and many people identified the driver of one of the vehicles that was used for that mission. So, some of those who lost their relatives in the attack staged a reprisal on that village and many people were killed,” our source who pleaded anonymity said.
But when contacted, Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Moses Yamu, who confirmed the Tse-Chia attack, said three people were killed after the attackers stormed the village about 1am last Friday and set four houses ablaze.
Yamu explained that the village is on the outskirt of Zaki-Biam Town. He disclosed further that three people died in one of the burnt houses, and stressed that it was not herdsmen that carried out the attack as was insinuated in some quarters. The attack, he said, was purely a retaliatory mission.
“It was not an attack by herdsmen, but criminal minded people were behind the attack for whatever sinister reasons. The invaders stormed the village about 1am last Friday and set four houses ablaze. Three persons were burnt to death in one of the houses.”
The PPRO, who noted that preliminary investigation showed that the young man who drove one of the vehicles used in the Monday attack was identified to have hailed from that village. He, however, maintained that policemen were already patrolling the entire area.
He appealed to members of the public not to take laws into their hands but report every criminality to the police for appropriate action.