From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
No fewer than six people were allegedly killed in separate attacks by gunmen in two local government areas of Benue State between Saturday and Sunday.
The affected local government councils are Gwer East and Gwer West, our correspondent has learnt.
While two people were said to have been killed in a communal clash in Gwer East local government area, four other people were said to have been killed by suspected herdsmen in Gwer West local government area.
It was gathered that a renewed hostilities of an age-long communal crisis between the people of Mbakume and Mbasombo had rocked Gwer East, claiming two lives in the latest attack.
A source from the area who identified himself as Donald told newsmen by telephone that the renewed crisis began last week, resulting in the burning of houses and taking a deadly turn on Saturday when two people were killed.
Also in Gwer West, four persons were allegedly killed by suspected herdsmen in two council wards on Saturday and Sunday.
Our source said the suspected herders simultaneously launched attacks on Tse Shishim village and Tse Iber around Jimba and Ahumen settlement on Makurdi/ Naka/ Anpka road as well as Mbaatan Kunav in Saghev-Ukusu and Sengev council ward of the local government.
Our source, Francis Ugbede, disclosed that the victims had gone to the farm with two other locals to harvest food crops when they were attacked.
Ugbede said while the two other people escaped, the four victims were not so lucky as they were shot and killed by the assailants.
Our source identified the deceased as Terhemba Shishim, Teryila Agbe, Yorloko Adumu and Mne Iorhemen while one person known as Iorheme Terhemen was said to have been taken away alive with his motorcycle.
Confirming the attack, Chairman of Gwer West local government, Mrs Grace Igbabon said that the killings happened on Saturday and Sunday.
‘On Saturday, 15th May 2021, at about 5:00 pm local time, armed Fulani militia attacked Tse Shishim village around Ahume settlement in Saghev/Ukusu council ward of Gwer-West local government area.
‘The armed Fulani attackers on sighting three people who had gone to get food from the farm pursued them with AK-47 guns and cutlasses.
‘Two of them ran and escaped narrowly while Terhemba Shishim (Male) 35 yrs was killed by the attackers.
‘Similarly, yesterday (Sunday) 16th May 2021, armed Fulani militia again between the hours of 2:00 pm – 7 pm launched attacks on two villages in Gwer-West local and killed Teryila Agbe (male) 28 years and Torloko Adamu (male) 40 years.
‘The Fulani militia also in another attack in Mbaatan Kunav, Sengev council ward of Gwer-West local government area killed Mne Iorhemen (male) 30years while his younger brother, Terdoo Iorhemen was kidnapped with his Honda motorcycle and taken away to an unknown destination,’ the chairman said.
Contacted, the Benue State Police Command’s Public Relations Officer PPRO, DSP Catherine Anene, confirmed death of two people in the renewed communal clash in Gwer East but said she was yet to be briefed on the Gwer West attacks.
‘There was a time the Command talked to them and they even signed some things. But what caused the renewed crisis is what the Command needs to understand. As at now, two persons were killed but I don’t have the record of houses burnt,’ Anene said.