From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
No fewer than eight persons, including two aid workers were, on Sunday, reportedly killed by suspected herdsmen in three council wards of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.
The affected council wards, according to the Chairman of Guma LGA, Caleb Aba, are Nzorov, Mbabai and Uvir.
The council boss, who spoke to Daily Sun on telephone yesterday, disclosed that three persons, including two aid workers working with 360HSCD, were killed in Nzorov Council Ward, on Sunday afternoon.
It was gathered that 360HSCD is a non governmental organisation working on HIV/AID testing and counselling in Benue state.
The aid workers were allegedly killed while on routine weekend supervision in Tomanyiin village, in Nzorov council ward of Guma LGA of Benue state.
Aba further explained that four others were killed in Mbabai Ward, while one other person was killed in Uvir council ward that same night.
“Some villages were attacked by Fulani herdsmen in the first attack; three people, including two officials of the 360HSDC who were on official function at Nzorov council ward were attacked and killed at Tsumayin, in Nzorov council ward.
“Also four people were killed at Tse Ayonom in Mbapa council ward and one person killed from Ovie council ward. All happened yesterday.
“I have directed that the deceased be buried immediately, but the corpses of the two aid officials have been taken away by their organisation. It is members of OPWS that evacuated the corpses. The matter has been reported to security operatives in the state,” Aba said.
The council boss, who noted that his people had no issues with the herdsmen before the attack, expressed surprise that his people could be attacked and killed in that manner by the herdsmen.
“We had no reported issue with the Fulani herdsmen before the attack. That’s what baffles me,” the council chairman said.
Villagers who reportedly called the telephone lines of the aide workers after they were abducted by suspected herdsmen alleged that the herdsmen answered the call and confirmed that they had been killed.
The villagers further claimed that the herdsmen vowed that the killings would continue until governor Samuel Ortom yielded to their demand to repeal the open grazing prohibition and ranches establishment law of 2017.
But when contacted by telephone, Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Ibrahim Galma, confirmed that there had been a series of attacks around the border area between Benue and Nasarawa States in the last few days.