27 killed, property destroyed in Benue renewed herdsmen attack
Twenty seven persons were, Sunday, reportedly killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen, leaving several others wounded in a renewed attack at Odugbebo village in Agatu local government area of Benue state.
Confirming the attack, a witness and an indigene of the Village, Isaac Oche said; the suspected herdsmen invaded their village around 5:45pm and started shooting sporadically, killing anyone on sight and disappeared around 6:40 pm after killing so many people, adding that they escaped to the bush and later returned back to the village shortly after the attack, recovered 11 bodies from the village centre.
Isaac added that, they saw other 9 bodies scattered on the roadside but couldn’t evacuate them for fear of the unknown, believing that more corpses would be found in the morning. “We can not stay any longer to recover all the dead bodies this night because it is dark and no security, I believe more bodies will be recovered when the day breaks and security agents are around”, he reechoed.
Reacting in a telephone conversation with reporters on the matter, the council chairman Agatu, Hon. Adoyi suleiman confirmed the incident saying 27 werre killed, lamenting also of unprecedented havoc occasioned as result of the attack which led to destruction of farm produce and killings of the locals in the community, adding that the victims were buried this afternoon.
He said the herdsmen who were believed to have come from Nasarawa State, passed yesterday being the market day in the area through their neighbouring local government of Gwer West in a guerrilla style, took them unaware, saying the high number of casualties is due to the fact that it was on Sunday and most people were at home were at home mourning when the crises erupted.
Corroborating the first eyewitness account, another eyewitness, Iyu Goche said, he was one of the youths that searched and recovered the corpses, adding that the death toll would rise in the morning of on Monday.
Also commenting on the matter, the PDP chairman, an indigene, Hon.john Ngbede has expressed shocked over the invasion leading to loss of several lives by Fulani herdsmen ,where others who escaped death by the whiskers deserted the trouble and took cover to neighbouring community ogbaonu for fear of the unknown.
Efforts to get clarification from Benue police command public relations officer PPRO DSP Sewuese Annene were abortive as several calls put on her mobile line could not returned.
By Henry Iyorkase, Makurdi.