Rampaging Herdsmen invade Nasarawa, Ondo; kill Pregnant Woman, many others, destroy farm lands

By Editor on 05/01/2018

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Unidentified gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have killed scores of farmers and set houses ablaze in Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.

It was learnt that the suspected Fulani herdsmen, attacked residents of Awe, a border community of both Nasarawa and Benue states, and killed many people in the area.

Investigation by our correspondent revealed that the unfortunate incident has been going on for the past four days.

It was gathered that a number of farm settlements cutting across Awe and Keana Local Governments Areas of the state, were reduced to rubbles by the rampaging Fulani herdsmen who were said to be armed with sophisticated weapons.

In an interview with our correspondent in Lafia, the Nasarawa State capital, on Thursday, the President of Tiv Development Association in the state, Mr. Benard Kyegna, said, “On New Year Day, a man was macheted to death at Gidan Wurji in Awe Local Government Area while moving his farm produce to Awe town.”

He, however, added that another killing took place on the New Year Day when some unidentified armed gunmen were returning from Benue State where they had gone to kill people. Kyegna said they killed the  man they saw in his compound along the Awe – Tunga Road, in Awe council area of the state.

He said, “We also got a report that two farmers were reportedly murdered at Bakin Kortaa, a border settlement which is about 12 kilometres from the Benue/Nasarawa border at about 7pm. Also a report in my village (Kwarra), in Keana Local Government Area, has it that the marauding herdsmen equally gunned down three farmers while working on their farm.”

Our correspondent further learnt from a victim, Mr. Terzungwe Tachin, who narrowly escaped death by the whiskers in the hands of the killer herdsmen, that about eight farmers had so far been killed in different areas in the aforementioned two council areas of the state.

He, however, gave the names of locations where the eight people were killed by suspected herdsmen as Tse Kwaghtser – Tunga settlement, Kuduku, Nyashashu, Obosidoma and Kaambe-Jangaru.

However, the Nasarawa State Police Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Kennedy Idirisu, who confirmed the crisis, said that only one person was killed during the attack.

Similarly, a joint security meeting of the military, police and paramilitary agencies was convened in Lafia over the ongoing killings in both Benue and Nasarawa states.

Briefing newsmen immediately after the security meeting that lasted for seven hours, the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris, who was represented by the Deputy Inspector-General of Police Force Headquarters, Abuja, Mr. Habila Joshak, stated that those behind the killings in Benue State would be brought to justice.

Meanwhile, Some suspected Fulani herdsmen have allegedly invaded a farmland at Arodoye community, in the Akure South Local Government Area of Ondo State, destroying 200 acre farms.

The herdsmen also allegedly killed a female farmer, identified as Patience Salami.

The incident was said to have occurred during the Yuletide holiday when most of the farmers had travelled out of the community.

It was gathered that nobody had been arrested by the security agencies for the incident.

Some of the farmers who spoke to our correspondent on Thursday lamented that they had lost millions, saying the herdsmen destroyed farm produce.

Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Justice Micheal Owoyemi, whose farm was also affected, said some of the farm produce destroyed by the herdsmen included cassava, cocoyams, yams, vegetables, adding that some cocoa farms were set on fire.

He said, “The herdsmen destroyed over 5,000 heads of cassava in my farm. They took the advantage of the Christmas break; they uprooted our cassava to feed their cattle.

“We have reported the herdsmen to the security agents and also to the Deji of Akureland, Oba Aladelusi Aladetoyinbo, who promised to intervene.

“The herdsmen are determined to send farmers out of their farms unless steps are taken by concerned authorities. What they destroyed is worth millions of naira.

“Most of these people here depend on the farms produce to cater to their families.”

Owoyemi, who is a serving judge in the Ondo State Judiciary, said the farmers had petitioned the state governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu, security agencies and the Ministry of Agriculture to inform them of the havoc wrecked on farms in the area, but nothing had been done.

Another farmer and member of the community, Mr. Victory Oweh, lamented that he lost produce on 10 acres to the destruction by the herdsmen.

“We are just respecting the law of the land and trying not to take the law into our own hands.

“Ondo State Government should follow the steps taken by the Ekiti State Government by enacting laws to curb the activities of herdsmen. We are calling on the state government and security agencies before taking the law into our own hands.”

The Public Relations Officer of the Ondo State Police Command, Mr. Femi Joseph said the matter had not been reported to the police.

 

Source Punch

Posted on January, 5 2018

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