Herdsmen invade Benue community, murder 4

From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

Four persons, including three teenagers, have reportedly died following an attack by suspected herdsmen, in Yelwata community of Guma Local Government area of Benue State, on Saturday.

It was gathered that the teenagers had gone to their farm and were working when the herdsmen stormed the area, killed all three brothers, and  disappeared.

The development was said to have angered the youths in the area, who recovered the corpses of the victims and used them to block the Makurdi-Lafia highway for several hours.

Efforts by the military, the police and other security agencies to get the angry youths off the road were said to have been rebuffed, as they caused heavy  gridlock on the major highway.

Chairman of Guma Local Government, Caleb Abah, said the fourth person died after one of the security personnel accidentally fired a shot in the crowd.

“Sadly, in an attempt to disperse the angry youths,  there was a shot by the security agents and, unfortunately, one of the protesters was hit by a bullet and he died.

“As we speak right now, calm has been restored to the area, and we are already making arrangements for the dead to be buried,” the council boss said.

He acknowledged the efforts of Governor Samuel Ortom, who quickly mobilised some government functionaries to the troubled area, to calm frayed nerves, which resulted in the quick resolution of the matter.

However, the Police Public Relations Officer PPRO, DSP Catherine Anene, could not be reached at the time of this report, as she did not pick nor return calls put to her mobile phone.

Meanwhile, some yet to be identified gunmen, at the weekend, attacked the palace of a traditional ruler in Gboko Local Government Area of Benue State, destroying vehicles, houses and other property.