From Scholastica Onyeka, Makurdi
Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen militia, have killed 18 people in Ukohol and three other villages in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State. The Chairman of the local government, Michael Uba, who confirmed this to newsmen in a telephone chat on Friday, said 10 persons were killed in the market while the other eight were killed in three other villages. The gunmen, who appeared in black attire, appeared before the marketers, and, in a commando style, began to shoot sporadically at innocent marketers.
Uba told Saturday Sun: “Around 4 to 5 pm, My people at Ukohol were attacked by armed herders, who killed 10 people. The worst of it all is that they even killed children below the age of two.
“They didn’t stop at that point but went to three other villages/settlements around and killed another eight, making it a total of 18 —10 at the market, eight in the villages when they were running back.”
While noting that the casualties would have been more, Uba said the security operatives were prompt in responding to their call, and that saved the day.
“If they had delayed, the casualties would have been more. It was a market day. What is happening now is that they are trying to destabilise people from their villages and settlements and occupy them to graze at night. They appeared in black attires. No villages are spared, and the entire 10 council wards in Guma are affected,” he said.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Benue State Command, SP Catherine Anene, confirmed the incident, saying she was yet to get details.