Suspected herdsmen kill 19 in Benue


Suspected herdsmen have attacked some communities in Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State and killed 19 people.

A resident Terna Abende, who escaped the attack, told PUNCH that the attackers came through Akpachi in the Otukpo Local Government Area to attack Tse Amgbem.

Mr Abenda said, “At about 5am today (Monday), the attackers stormed the Tse Amgbem and Udam near Aondoana community and killed several people and several others were injured.

“The attackers who are suspected to be herdsmen also burnt down houses.”

The suspects had earlier on Sunday ambushed some motorcyclists at separate areas on Naka Nagi Agagbe and Naka/Makurdi roads, killing six persons.

Confirming the attacks, chairman of Gwer West Local Government Area Grace Igbabon said 19 people were killed in three separate attacks in the council area between Sunday and Monday.

“We had about six persons yesterday (Sunday) and 13 people today (Monday),” she said.

“I was told that the attackers were suspected herdsmen who attacked the Mbamodu community and killed 13 people and several others injured. The attackers burnt down several houses in the community.

“The other incidents happened on Sunday at other side of Mbachon, some motorcyclists were riding on the road and they saw a man in military uniform who stopped them.

“I was told that in the process of slowing down, another set of people who possibly had laid ambush came out from the bush and shot severally at them, four of them died and one later escaped.

“Also along Naka/Makurdi road on Sunday, they (suspected herdsmen) killed two others.”

In a statement, Governor Samuel Ortom, who has been critical of the Federal Government’s approach on security, condemned the killings.

Speaking through his chief press secretary Terver Akase, the governor said that several people were still missing from the attack.

“The governor is not happy with the killing. We know the killers are herdsmen and we wonder that the sponsors of killings in the state are there in Abuja and are allowed to walk freely. Security agents know them and they should be apprehended,” Mr Akase said.