Again, armed herdsmen kill 16 in Benue

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By Sunday Ogli, Makurdi

NO fewer than 16 persons have been reportedly killed by suspected armed herdsmen in Wandor, Mbaikyor, in Mbalom Council Ward of Gwer Local Government Area of Benue State.

A local in the community who confided in newsmen on Friday in Makurdi, said the armed herdsmen numbering over 40 invaded Wandor through Mbasombo about 7:00pm, bearing guns and cutlasses.

He said immediately he heard gunshots. He put a call across to someone and asked him to inform the Divisional Police Officer, DPO of the development.

He, however, regretted that there was no swift response.

He said one of the victims was burnt alive while 30 houses were burnt down.

His words: “They took us by surprise. They came numbering over 40, some had guns and others cutlasses.”

“The operation lasted for over three hours. The incident started around 7 o’clock in the night. As I’m talking to you now over 30 houses are burnt.

“One of the victims was burnt in his house.

“Immediately, they came and started shooting. I put a call through to someone and asked him to tell the DPO that this was what was happening.

“If we had immediate intervention, they probably wouldn’t have sent the houses ablaze.

“One of the victims was burnt alive in his house, we had to wrap him up and take him out of his house.

“We have recovered their corpses so far. There are about 8 dead bodies in the bushes that we are yet to recover. They came through Mbasombo into our village.

“There is a Fulani settlement close to the boundary between Ihyravye and Ayar and the Alhaji who has caused this we earlier arrested three of his boys and handed over to the Police at Aliade and documented, but the boys were later released.

“It is this Alhaji that is operating in this axis.

“In fact, the officer that was following up this case, the retired WO2 military officer, who is the community security adviser who reported the case, is among those that were killed”, he added.

The names of those killed included: Peter Tion, Nyityo Kyoon, Iorfa Ukombor, Doopinen Awua, Tyoshaa Mkaanem, Asan Ate, Asough Ate and Terzungwe Asoo Ate.

Others included MWO Mbatsavbun Gbatar, retd, John Ndahagh Tyohemba, Tertsea Ukombor, Akuma Kpenge, Abume Kpenge, Igba Byuan, Master Ter Byuan, Terzungwe Aulugh and a little boy whose name is not known.

When contacted on phone, the Caretaker Chairman of Gwer East Local Government Council, Mrs. Comfort Agbo, said that relative peace has returned to the Wandor community.

She said 16 bodies have so far been recovered while two persons that were injured are receiving treatment.

“Those who attacked and killed my people are suspected armed herdsmen.

“The security operatives are currently moving the bodies to the mortuary,” she said.

The state police spokesperson, SP Catherine Anene, said the state Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Adesina has gone to the area to assess the situation.