Panic in Makurdi as suspected herdsmen serve attack notice

fulani-herdsmen, cowsA purported notice of attack issued by suspected Fulani herdsmen to communities in a local government area contiguous to Makurdi, the Benue State capital, caused panic on Friday in the state.

Already, the police said security had been beefed up in the area even as residents flee some of the threatened communities.

It was gathered that a threat letter giving notice of an impending attack was delivered to one of the communities in Gwer West Local Government Area of the state which shares boundaries with the state capital.

This was as three persons were reportedly killed and three others injured when suspected herdsmen invaded Tsukwa Village in the troubled Logo Local Government Area of the state, on Thursday night.

Saturday Tribune gathered that suspected herdsmen had threatened to attack some communities in Gwer West, a development which led to residents of Adaka Community in Makurdi, a boundary area with Gwer West Local government Area, to flee their homes.

The spokesman of the Benue State Police Command, Moses Yamu, who confirmed the development, said the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Fatai Owoseni, had led officers of the command to the area to douse tension, adding that more policemen had been drafted to the area.

Meanwhile, three persons were reported killed while many others were injured on Thursday night at Tsukwa Village in Logo Local Government Area of the state when suspected herdsmen invaded the village.

The local council chairman, Mr Richard Nyajo, told Saturday Tribune in a telephone conversation that the herdsmen laid an ambush for the victims, saying, “The herdsmen hid in a forest opposite the Redeemed Christian Church of God and opened fire on the unsuspected victims.”

According to him, the herdsmen shot down two persons on a motorcycle who died instantly and also shot at another group of four passersby, killing one and injuring three others.

The local council chairman further explained that among the four passersby that were shot were two Hausa traders, adding that “it was one of the survivors that broke the news that their attackers were herdsmen.

“One of the victims who lost his life has since been buried according to Muslim rites while the other two bodies have been deposited in the morgue.

“The herdsmen had, between 7pm-8pm, on Thursday, laid ambush in Kukwa near the Redeemed Christian Church of God, located along Anyiin-Ayilamo road, where they shot six passersby killing three persons, while three others who sustained severe injuries have been taken to NKST hospital Ugba for treatment.”

Anyiin-Ayilamo is the country-home of the immediate past governor of the state, Gabriel Suswam and it has one of the biggest Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, serving as a base for the special force sent to the area to maintain peace.

Confirming the report, the state Police Public Relation Officer, Yamu said three people were killed in the Thursday night raid of the area and added that many people were injured.

Yamu told Saturday Tribune that, around 7.30 pm on Thursday, policemen deployed to Anyin heard gunshots and promptly raced to the area where three people were discovered killed and many persons injured.

He said the injured ones were rushed to a hospital at Anyinm where they were receiving treatment, adding that some of the injured had been discharged.

“We received report of attack on Tsukwa on Thursday around 7.30 pm. There were gunshots at a village near where our men were stationed and they quickly rushed to the village. At the time our men got to the village, it was discovered that the attackers shot at people and killed three who were on motorcycles. The attackers went away with one of the motorcycles.

“The injured ones were rushed to hospital and some of them have been treated and discharged. One of the discharged victims, simply identified as Terver, spoke with the police commissioner,” the state police image-maker said.