NO fewer than eighteen persons were killed and several others injured in separate incidents in Benue state.
The ugly incidents occurred in Kwande and Otukpo local government areas of the state, while herdsmen’ attack killed ten people in Kwande, cult groups clash claimed eight in Otukpo local government.
It was gathered that the ugly incidents have sent fear into the people in the affected areas, while villagers in the community and neighboring communities in Kwande were said to be leaving in droves, while palpable fear had gripped the residents of Otukpo.
The Nigerian Tribune learnt from Kwande that some fulani herdsmen around 2.am on Sunday stormed Tseadough, a village in Mbachom, Yaav Ward of Kwande council area of the state where ten persons were killed.
Not done, the invading herdsmen also injured six others, burnt down there houses and also went away with a woman from the village.
The suspected fulani herdsmen invaded our village in the wee hours of today, (Sunday) while people were asleep, it was there gun shots that woke some of us.’
Though while the native who spoke to our correspondent claimed that ten persons were killed, the council chairman said that seven people were still confirmed dead while six people injured.
The chairman, Terdo Nyor Kenti said, ‘someone fulani herdsmen stormed the village at about midnight while the people were asleep and opened fire and shot sporadically in all directions.
“Seven people were killed in the end, six others were injured while the herdsmen also went away with a woman after burning several houses in the area.
Kent who expressed shock over the attack on his council area said there was no problem or provocation from the villagers that could have warranted the attack and wondered why the attackers would just come and swoop on his people.
In the ancient Otukpo town, a group of suspected cultists were said to have turned the area to battle field leaving eight people dead.
It was learnt that the cult groups early hours of Sunday while some were going to their place of worship, the cult groups took over the ancient town and unleashed terror.
No fewer than eight people were mauled down at different places within the town.
It was gathered that two of the victims were killed at a popular drug (marijuana) joint known as Banana Island while another victim who owns a barbing shop at Akpa Street was shot outside his shop.
It was gathered that one other person was killed along Uloko lane, while the other four were killed at several locations as the killers went about their killing spree.
Chairman of the Local Government Council, Mr George Alli said, ‘we have confirmed the death of six persons this afternoon. I’m still expecting a clearer picture about this because we are going to come with a special squad to go after them.’
The chairman said that the killers immediately went into hiding after the dastardly acts but declined to comment further on it.
However, the state police commissioner, Mr Fatai Owoseni and the command spokesman, ASP Moses Yamu could not be reached for confirmation as as calls put to their mobile phones were neither picked nor returned.
Also, messages sent to their phone were not replied as at the time of filing this report.
Meanwhile, the secretary general of a socio-cultural group in Idoma land, known as ‘Opiatoha K’Idoma’ Mr Adoka Adaji has condemned the killing by cult groups in Otukpo on Sunday.
According to the statement he made available to the Nigerian Tribune in Makurdi on Sunday called on security operatives in the state to deal with the situation and bring the perpetrators to justice.
- A Nigerian Tribune Report