Herds­men slay four po­lice­men, 32 vil­lagers

Sol­diers kill four herders

The Punch - - FRONT PAGE - Umar Mo­hammed and John Charles

GUn­men sus­pected to be Fu­lani herders have al­legedly killed 32 Tiv vil­lagers at var­i­ous lo­ca­tions across the south­ern se­na­to­rial district of nasarawa State. The co­or­di­nated at­tacks re­port­edly took place on Satur­day and Sun­day.

The Punch learnt that the at­tacks were car­ried out si­mul­ta­ne­ously in Awe, Keana, Obi and Doma lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas of the state, leav­ing 19 oth­ers with vary­ing de­grees of in­jury.

Con­firm­ing the in­ci­dent in a tele­phone in­ter­view, the state Com­mis­sioner for Wa­ter Re­sources, Gabriel Akaaka, said the gun­men in­vaded his house and set it ablaze.

he said, “It is true the gun­men be­lieved to be Fu­lani herders raided my house this morn­ing and set it ablaze.

“The Tiv vil­lagers are stranded. I have just spo­ken to the Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, mr. Ahmed Bello, to de­ploy his se­cu­rity per­son­nel and se­cu­rity op­er­a­tives in the state to the area in or­der to res­cue the vil­lagers.”

One of our cor­re­spon­dents, who went round some of the af­fected ar­eas re­ports that about 15,000 flee­ing Tiv vil­lagers were stranded on the streets of Lafia, the state cap­i­tal, while over 100,000 were tak­ing refuge in dif­fer­ent In­ter­nally Dis­placed Per­sons camps at Ag­watashi, Aloshi, Awe, Adudu, Obi, Keana, Doma, Ag­yaragu, among other lo­ca­tions.

Con­firm­ing the in­ci­dent to one of our cor­re­spon­dents in a tele­phone in­ter­view, the Po­lice Pub­lic Re­la­tions Of­fi­cer, DSP Kennedy Idirisu, said the com­mand only learnt of the at­tack early on mon­day.

he said, “There was an at­tack on mon­day morn­ing, but the com­mand has yet to re­ceive de­tails as re­gards the num­ber of peo­ple that lost their lives in the early hour at­tacks by un­known gun­men.”

In an­other de­vel­op­ment, the Benue State Po­lice Com­mand on mon­day con­firmed the death of four of its men, killed by sus­pected herds­men.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment is­sued by the com­mand’s spokesman, moses Yamu, the killing took place at Any­ibe in the Logo Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of the state.

Logo and Guma lo­cal gov­ern­ment ar­eas of the state had been under at­tacks by the sus­pected Fu­lani herds­men, re­sult­ing in the loss of lives. 73 vic­tims were buried in Jan­uary, 2018.

Yamu stated that the com­mand’s “per­son­nel came under at­tack by in­sur­gents at Anyi be, logo lo­cal gov­ern­ment Area of the state be­tween 18.00 hours of yes­ter­day, 15 of April, 2018 and early morn­ing of date (mon­day.) Sadly at the mo­ment, four ca­su­al­ties have been suf­fered by po­lice.”

He said the In­spec­tor­Gen­eral of Po­lice, Ibrahim Idris, had de­ployed more po­lice­men in the area.

The PPRO said the at­tack­ers would soon be ar­rested and be made to face the wrath of the law.

In yet an­other sep­a­rate in­ci­dent, sol­diers from the 707 Spe­cial Forces on mon­day killed four sus­pected Fu­lani herds­men in Yogbo com­mu­nity of the Guma Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Area of the state.

One of our cor­re­spon­dents gath­ered from the lo­cals that mil­i­tary iden­tity cards were found on the bodies of the slain herds­men by the sol­diers who con­ducted a search on them.

A source from the vil­lage told one of our cor­re­spon­dents on the tele­phone that the herds­men pre­tended to be sol­diers on duty.

An­other source, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said the re­mains of the herders were taken to NASME pri­vate clinic in makurdi.

When con­tacted, the As­sis­tant Di­rec­tor of Army Pub­lic Re­la­tions, 707 Spe­cial Forces Bat­tal­ion, makurdi, Ma­jor Ayeni Olabisi, con­firmed the in­ci­dent.

Ayeni said, “Our troops sta­tioned in Yogbo, in the Guma LGA, killed four Fu­lani herds­men but no mil­i­tary iden­tity cards were found on them. I will still con­tact you to give you fur­ther in­for­ma­tion.”

Also, the Chief Press Sec­re­tary to the Benue State Gover­nor, Terver Akase, said about 20 of the Fu­lani herds­men at­tacked Yogbo vil­lage.

he said, “herders in­vaded the vil­lage and started burn­ing down sev­eral houses. Troops re­sponded and killed four of them while oth­ers fled.”

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