….as marauders invade more communities, kill 2 women, three others, injure scores
By Peter Duru – Makurdi
Five persons including two women have been reportedly killed in three separate attacks on communities in Gwer West and Guma Local Government Areas of Benue state by suspected armed herdsmen.
This came as the Paramount ruler of Tyochin kingdom and Chairman of Gwer West Traditional Council, Chief Daniel Abomste raised the alarm that herdsmen had killed 315 of his subjects and injured many.
Vanguard gathered that in the fresh attacks, three persons were murdered and some sustained injuries at Imande, Saghev-Ukusu and Gbaange-Tongov communities of Gwer West LGA while two women were killed on Saturday morning on their farms by the marauders in an attack on Yelwata community of Guma LGA which also left scores injured.
Confirming the invasion of his domain, Chief Abomste said it followed the arrest and prosecution a herder who attacked and injured one of his subjects in his orchard.
According to him, “the armed herders initially invaded Imande village on Makurdi-Naka road on Saturday, May 2 and killed two people and wounded two. They again repeated the attack on Friday, May 8 and killed one and wounded another in a renewed attack.
“These particular attacks were follow up to what they thought we did which was not true. On April 30, herdsmen led their cattle into the orchard of one Mr Uma Ichivir at Imande village on Makurdi-Naka road and when he questioned them, they gave him machete cuts.
“When the news got to me, I informed the Livestock Guards and asked that they do a follow-up and arrest the attackers. They did exactly that, took him to Agro Rangers who ensured he was prosecuted in court in Makurdi.
“So his fellow herders probably thought that he was killed but he was in safe custody with the Agro Rangers in Makurdi. It was on that basis that they came on reprisal, killing three people.
“Two persons were killed at Imande village, Saghev-Ukusu on May 2 and another in Gbaange-Tongov on 8 May and they also inflicted serious injuries on three others.
“As a result of these attacks, my people are fleeing and running helter-skelter looking for a haven. Though I have reported the matter to the authorities I am seeing just minimal action.
“The Commissioner of Police sent a homicide squad here who came and condoled with me and said they would investigate the matter and I also relayed all that happened to them.”
Continuing, Chief Abomste said, “from my data on the attacks on my domain since February 8, 2011, to May 8, 2020 herdsmen have successfully launched 46 attacks on my subjects and they have killed 315 persons from 2011 to date.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene, who confirmed the development (the attack by suspected herdsmen ) in Gwer West LGA, Benue State, said she was yet to receive details of the Yelwata attack.