John Charles Makurdi
Fulani herdsmen on Tuesday afternoon unleashed mayhem on Chembe settlement in Ukemberagya/Tswarev council ward of Gaambe-Tiev, in Logo Local Government Area of Benue State, killing a village head, Mr. Iyongovihi Ninge.
An eye witness from the area, Joseph Anawah, told our correspondent through a text message that the attackers came with hordes of cattle, plundering yam seeds that have been planted.
He said that the invaders opened fire on Ninge who was clearing his field in readiness for cultivation.
“The village head was shot on the back and he died on the spot,” the eyewitness said.
He added that no arrest was made despite the nearness of the scene of the incident to a military camp stationed in the area.
“The marauder. opened fire on Chief Iyongovihi Ninge who was clearing his field in readiness for cultivation.
“On hearing the gunshots, everyone within the area ran away, though we cannot at the moment ascertain if more persons were killed, as several families were lamenting that they could not trace their family members,” he said.
Anawah further disclosed that the Chembe community and adjourning villages at the moment have been deserted, while the rampaging herdsmen freely graze on people’s farmlands.
When contacted, the Logo LG council chairman, Mr. Richard Nyajo, who confirmed the attack, said 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 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, who could not give the number of casualties at the time of this report, said he had already notified security personnel about the attack and they had 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 the feedback from the security personnel that went into the bush.”
When contacted, however, Police Commissioner in charge of Benue State, Fatai Owoseni, said he was yet to receive reports of the attack.