Linus Oota, Lafia
Blood flowed yesterday in Kadarko, a major town in Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, as herdsmen invaded the village in the unholy hours of the night, when the villagers were deeply asleep, and killed seven farmers and injured two others.
The attack, which took place in Angwan Tiv, a major Tiv settlement in Kardorko, was well-coordinated by the raiders. Several homes were razed, with over 30,000 farmers fleeing their ancestral homes for safety.
Those killed were Ioryan Tete, Salla Lege, Abraham Igba, Sarki Tabo, Pius Tabo, Iorga Tyogh, and Augustine Yeagee, while Blessing Clement and Madam Orjime were badly injured in the attack.
Speaking to our correspondent, an elder in the area, Targba Tyo, said what saved the entire people of Kadarko was the resistance put up by their dogs
According to him, “We were deeply asleep when we suddenly heard dogs barking at them as they gradually surrounded the area. They were in large numbers and heavily-armed. They divided into groups but when the dogs were making too much noise, one of the herdsmen decided to use one bullet to eliminate one of the dogs that was disturbing them. The sound of the gunshot made us to wake up, but they were able to kill seven people and injured two.
“The attack was not a surprise to us because we heard the rumour a day earlier that the herdsmen were planning to invade Kadarko and, since them, over 8,000 people have moved to Benue. Some relocated to Lafia. The police did not help matters because we reported the threats to them but no action was taken.”
Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, who visited the scene of the attack yesterday, broke into tears when he saw the lifeless bodies of the seven victims. He said that he was in the place to see things for himself and console the people of the area and the bereaved families.
He said: “It is a pity; I got the information last night that a group of militants came and slaughtered seven people in Kadarko. I contacted the security agencies and that is why we are here this morning. I felt bad.
“I’m touched when I see people migrating to safety; children and pregnant women trekking long distances with their luggage on the head,” he said.
He promised to deploy security men and said he had requested for military air surveillance in the area for immediate detection of further attacks. He directed farmers staying in isolated areas not to go to their farms any longer and to relocate immediately to Kadarko town where a unit of policemen and the military would be stationed.
The governor also directed security agencies to immediately commence investigation into the immediate cause of the attack and offer solutions for immediate action. He added that relief materials and medical services would be provided immediately to the displaced persons.
Al-Makura said that he was in touch with the governor of Benue State on how the situation could be brought under control, especially at the border. He expressed confidence that the security personnel on hand would forestall a recurrence.
The governor, who toured all the affected villages in Keana, expressed sadness over the empty houses he met and directed security agencies to find the perpetrators of the wicked act.
The Nasarawa State Police Command equally confirmed the killing of the seven persons in Kadarko village.
Police Public Relations Officer, Kennedy Idrisu, said the victims were killed by gunmen that attacked the village.
Kadarko had come under severe attack lately with alleged cattle rustlers killing 73 cows last Sunday.