Suspected herdsmen kill traditional ruler, wife and others in Kogi
The Onu Okewn-Agbenema in Omala council area of Kogi State, Musa Edibo, and his wife have been reportedly burnt by suspected herdsmen. Also, 100 homes were said to be torched by the attackers in Agbenema settlement.Moreover, nine others were allegedly hacked to death in the violent attacks that consumed four villages.A breakdown indicates that six lost their lives at Iyade village, two in Agbenema, two also at Aj’Ichekpa and another at Opada, all in Omala local council
According to reports, the gunmen who were in large numbers and armed with sophisticated weapons, first set the homes of their victims ablaze and then opened fire as they fled their homes. The herdsmen also slit the throats of some of their victims and cut off their vital organs.
According to the natives, the herdsmen, after setting the houses ablaze, opened fire on fleeing inhabitants, slit their throats and cut off vital parts of the victims with machete.They alleged that the military presence of the troops drafted to contain the killers was hardly felt, as herders operated without any hindrance.
We were surprised when we approached the soldiers who were stationed at the Guest House at Abejukolo for assistance. They refused to act professionally, as they used their vehicle to block us from advancing to the troubled spot to help our people. They have razed down Ojuwo Ajomayeigbi, Iyade, Agbenema and Opada villages. We want the world to come to our assistance before they exterminate and inherit our land.” a resident said
However, Governor Samuel Ortom has called on the military hierarchy to upgrade the ongoing Exercise Cat Race in Benue State to an operation that can flush out herdsmen so that farmers could return to their homes and continue with their livelihoods.
During a visit yesterday to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Abagena, Daudu, United Nations camp and LGEA Gbajimba camps in Makurdi and Guma council areas, he recalled that the Army had carried out successful operations in the East, South West and North East but wondered why Benue’s was an exercise.
He noted that what was happening in the state was similar to the North East debacle where Operation Lafiya Dole was put in place to tackle the Boko Haram menace.Ortom lamented that the herdsmen had sacked 50 communities and displaced over 170,000 persons, stressing that the camps were still witnessing influx of inmates.He, however, assured the IDPs that they would soon return home, as security agencies were working hard to restore peace.
The governor described the herdsmen as terrorists, as they are armed to the teeth.The assurances came amid a startling revelation by the Executive Secretary of the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Mr. Emmanuel Shior, 120 births had recorded across the eight camps in the state.He, however, commended the state government for taking adequate care of the IDPs and sued for the continued support of public-spirited individuals as well as groups to enable the agency care always for the inmates