Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The killings by Fulani herdsmen in some communities in Kogi State continued unabatedly on Friday as the death toll continues to rise to a frightening level.
Reports say no fewer than 50 people have so far been massacred in Ognaneinugu and environs while hundreds of people have been displaced and many more declared missing.
Eyewitness accounts said the latest attacks were getting more ferocious as the police and other security personnel drafted to the area to restore law and order seem to have been overwhelmed.
Also, it was reliably gathered that the attacks may spread to Abejukolo and Agbenema communities in Omala Local Government Area, as the people are said to be presently relocating in droves to neighbouring towns of Anyigba, Egume and other areas for their safety.
The account said the death toll in Oganenigwu from the invasion by the Fulani herdsmen on Wednesday was so heavy that “the number of deaths quoted earlier by national dailies was a child play”.
The account said that over 50 houses were so far razed in Oganeinugu alone aside from other neighbouring communities whose residents are said to have fled in droves to places like Anyigba, Ologba, Etulutekpe, Iyale and others.
“As at present, no body can say the exact number of dead people because many families are yet to locate their relations,” the source said.
The source also disclosed that the presence of the security agents drafted to the trouble areas was yet to halt the situation.
Another eyewitness, Ojodale Philip, the Principal of Community Secondary School, Oganenigwu said, “my school was under attack by Fulani terrorist at about 8:30 am but to God be the glory, no life was lost in my school, but many people were massacred in the village.
“I was personally shot at several times but nothing happened to me. In my hands are some of the bullets that were meant to kill me”.
However, the Kogi State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has blamed the killings on Governor Yahaya Bello, who they say has refused to visit the area.
The PDP said, the governor’s open invitation to the rampaging herdsmen and the setting up of cattle colonies without adequate security measures put in place has fueled the killings.
In a statement signed by the Director Research and Documentation, Achadu Dickson,
the governor should explain his role in the killings following his invitation of the herdsmen and ceding of some 15,000 hectares of land to the herdsmen without consulting the people.
Meanwhile, as at the time of filing in this report, the governor was yet to visit the affected areas for on -the- spot assessment.