Fulani Herdsmen Attack Benue Community, Kill Village Head
From Msughshima Andrew, Makurdi
Suspected herdsmen on Tuesday reportedly invaded Chembe settlement in Ukemberagya/Tswarev ward of Gaambe-Tiev, Logo local government area of Benue state killing a village Head, Chief Iyongovihi Ninge.
A source in the community who identified himself simply as Terkura told newsmen that trouble started when the traditional ruler went to his farm and met the armed herdsmen who had invaded the farmland with a large number of their cattle to graze.
He said as soon as the herdsmen sighted the village head and some boys who had gone with him to the farm, they opened fire on them, killing the village head on the spot.
“They met the Village Head in his farm where he had gone to inspect the clearing of his field in readiness for the cultivation of yam seedlings. They shot him at the back and he died on the spot.
“On hearing the gunshots, everyone within the area ran for their dear lives. Though we cannot ascertain if more persons were killed at the moment but several families were crying that they could not trace their family members.”
He disclosed that the Chembe community and adjourning villages are at the moment deserted while the rampaging herdsmen are freely grazing on people’s farmlands.
When contacted, the Logo Council Chairman, Mr. Richard Nyajo confirmed the attack saying he had received report that the Chembe Village head was killed in the attack.
“It is very true, herdsmen attacked Chembe and killed the Village Head. That was the first information that reached me this afternoon. We learnt that after killing the Village Head the herdsmen pursued the people of the community who fled from their farms and homes on hearing the sound of gunshots.
Nyajo could not give the number of casualties at the time of this report but told newen that he had already notified security personnel about the attack and they have moved to the community to repel the attackers from the area and also assess the situation.
“As we speak I cannot tell you that more persons were killed until we get feedback from the security personnel that went into the bush.”
Meanwhile, Benue State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni, when contacted, said he was yet to receive reports of the attack.