Benue: Suspected herdsmen attack community, kill 3

Fulani herdsmen on Saturday 4th February 2023, attacked Ikobi community of Apa local government area of Benue State, killing three persons.

Following the attack, troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPW) were deployed to the area to prevent further attacks. Members of the community said the troops gallantly repelled the invaders.

The OPWS troops were, however, ambushed by the killer herders in Mbappa, Gwer West local government of the state but the troops succeeded in overpowering the attackers even as three of the soldiers sustained injuries.

Only last week, armed Fulani militia killed the Divisional Police Officer of Gwer West local government area, Superintendent of Police (SP), Mamud Abubakar with two other policemen, two children and three women in separate attacks.

The killer herders have laid siege on the area in the last couple of days, with some analysts linking the attacks to the utterances of the dethroned Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi and 51 others who accused the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom of using the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law with Livestock Guards to chase Fulanis out of the state.

Speaking to journalists in Makurdi on the sad incident, the President, Tiv Youth Organization, Timothy Hembaor described the attack on the military personnel in Gwer West as mindless and barbaric, wondering why the herders would ambush security men whose role is peacekeeping.

Hembaor called on relevant security agencies to speedily commence the investigation of Sanusi and the other Fulani elders who recently made statements that he said have spurred the herders to intensify their atrocities in Benue State.

“What the armed Fulanis are now doing in Benue State is not a coincidence. They must have received briefings from the elders who recently wrote a petition to President Buhari against Governor Ortom. An investigation will certainly bring out the truth. We in Benue know who our attackers are. Sanusi and the others must be held responsible for the renewed wave of attacks on our people”, Shande submitted.

Three days ago, a socio-cultural group known as Southern Kaduna Peoples Union (SOKAPU) raised an alarm that the deposed Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido and 51 others should be held accountable if anything untoward happens to Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom concerning the alleged killing of pastoralists in Nasarawa State.

The group further urged the Federal Government to take steps to curtail herdsmen attacks on innocent farmers in Benue State and other parts of the Middle Belt.

The ambush on the military in Gwer West is one in a series of such attacks that killer herders have carried out against security operatives within Benue State in the last few years.

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