From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi and Ogbonnaya Ndukwe, Aba
No fewer than four persons, including a traditional ruler have been reportedly killed by suspected armed herdsmen in two local government areas of Benue State.
Daily Sun gathered that the traditional ruler, Chief Hyacinth Ajon and Benjamin Anakula were killed in Tse Zoola, Makurdi local government area of Benue State while two other people were killed around 8pm same Wednesday at Mbayer-Yandev Council Ward of Guma Local Government Area.
Speaking when Governor Samuel Ortom paid a condolence visit to Tse Zoola on Wednesday evening, eldest man in the community, Pa Aho Zoola disclosed that the armed herdsmen attacked the villagers at about 2am and killed the two people.
He said the attack was without any provocation whatsoever.
When the Governor who was returning from a burial in the area asked if they had rustled herdsmen’s cows in the past, elder Aho said there was nothing like that saying his people had never had any issues with the herdsmen even when their herds graze on their crops.
The governor who sympathized with the villagers many of whom have been displaced from their homes, promised that he would do everything possible to get security agencies deployed to the area.
Council Chairman of Guma LGA, Caleb Aba who confirmed the attack on Mbayer-Yandev community disclosed to newsmen by telephone that the incident occurred at about 8pm on Wednesday.
“It happened at about 8pm though my attention was drawn to it at 9pm that Fulani herdsmen invaded Mbayer-Yandev council ward killing two and injuring three others who have been moved to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) for treatment.”
Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Catherine Anene could not be reached at the time of this report.
Meanwhile, residents in Owerreaba, a suburb in Ugwunagbo Area of Aba town, Abia State, now live in fear following activities of hoodlums parading the streets and striping people of their belongings during evening rush to beat government’s 8 O’clock curfew.
The bandits reportedly move in gangs of more than 10 with dangerous weapons including guns, hide under shades of fading daylight at street corners and uncompleted buildings, to waylay and rob unsuspecting persons, especially women returning home or cooking outside.
In one of such incidents, a few days ago, a pregnant mother of three, simply identified as Mrs. Richard, allegedly died while being delivered of a baby prematurely, due to an attack in her home along Amauhie Street, within the area.
Close friends of the deceased said to be a pastor’s wife, said she was forced into labour after falling and hitting her waist on the ground while running away from a gang of thieves.
The friends, who refused to be named, said as the gang members robbed the family members of their property including cash, television and musical sets, they held Pastor Richard, his wife and children, at gunpoint, with threats to shoot any of them that moved.
Daily Sun gathered that, on hearing of the death of their sister, her relations invited the police, who arrested some persons including neighbours and the landlord of the building they live in for questioning.
One of those being held, a source disclosed, is the father of a suspected thief, who had previously threatened to deal with the Richards, during a disagreement between their families while other tenants were invited to volunteer information to investigators.
Police authorities could not be reached for confirmation though the deceased’s corpse had been deposited in a mortuary in the town for autopsy, a source said.