By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Four persons were weekend reportedly killed by suspected armed herders in Yelwata community of Guma Local Government Area of Benue state.
The death of the youths who were said to have been killed in their farms in the community bordering Nasarawa state triggered mass protests by youths of the area who recovered their corpses from the farm and barricaded the busy Makurdi-Lafia road.
It was gathered that efforts by security personnel to disperse the angry youths led to the death of another who was hit by a stray bullet fired from a yet to be identified security personnel.
Confirming the development, Chairman of Guma Local Government, Mr. Caleb Abah, explained that three of the victims were killed on the farm by the armed herdsmen while a stray bullet killed another during the protest that trailed the armed herders’ invasion.
According to the Chairman “unfortunately in an attempt to disperse the angry youths who were protesting the killing, there was a shot by the security agencies and one of the protesters was hit and killed.
“But as we speak right now, calm has been restored to the area and we are already making arrangements for the dead to be buried,” he said.
The Chairman also stated that the timely intervention of Governor Samuel Ortom who quickly mobilized some top government functionaries to the troubled area to calm frayed nerves helped in checking an escalation of the crisis especially after the death of one of the protesters.
“It was that intervention by the Governor that saved what would have been a bloody weekend in Benue especially after it was realized that one of the protesters had been hit and killed by a stray bullet allegedly fired by the security personnel to disperse them,” he said.
Efforts to reach the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene was unsuccessful.