Weekend of Herdsmen Rampage: Scores Killed in Benue, Adamawa, Ogun, Ondo

It was a weekend of blood and tears as Fulani herdsmen went on rampage in four states of the country.
Clashes, ignited by herdsmen were reported in Benue, Adamawa, Ogun and Ondo states respectively, leading to the death of scores of people, destruction of properties and leaving others injured.
No fewer than six persons were reportedly killed in a heavy gun battle between officers of Benue State Police Command and herdsmen at Yogbo community in Guma Local Government Area of the state
It was reliably gathered that the suspected herdsmen had attacked and set many houses and farm produce ablaze in the community, before they were confronted by the police drafted to maintain peace and security in the community.
It was learnt that the entire Yogbo community has been deserted by the locals for fear of being killed by the rampaging herdsmen.
Confirming the development, the command’s Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Moses Yamu, in a statement Sunday, said: “The police officers deployed to Yogbo community came under serious attack by heavily-armed militia group numbering about 200.
“Our police team braced up to the challenge and engaged them in a gun battle. Three of the militants died in the battle, but their corpses were taken away by their fleeing members, some of them suffered severe gunshot wounds.
“Sadly, however, the police lost one non-commissioned officer, while another one is yet to be seen. One other person whose identity is yet to be ascertained, but believed to be a resident of the area, also died.
In Adamawa State, an unconfirmed report said a number of persons were killed in a clash between herdsmen and villagers in Song Local Government Area of the state.
The clash, which occurred in Samba and Shore villages on Friday, also left many houses destroyed.
It was gathered that trouble started when the herders took their cattle to a pond said to be the only source of water in the area.
This led to a confrontation between the herdsmen and one of the villagers, who was said to have been injured.
On learning about the incident, the villagers attacked the herdsmen, reportedly killing an unconfirmed number.
The herders then launched a reprisal attack. Some persons were also said to have died in the reprisal attack, while houses were burnt down.
Othman Abu-Bakr, spokesman of Adamawa Police Command, confirmed there was an attack but could not give details as of time of filing this report.
In Ogun State, suspected Fulani herdsmen were said to have attacked some communities in Ketu Local Council Development Area of the state, three days after a stakeholders’ meeting was held with the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Iliyasu.
Narrating the incident, in a statement, the Coordinator-General and Director of Public Affairs of Ketu Advancement Forum, Kunle Abiose and Williams Olayode respectively, said the herders invaded “our farms, hewing down palm trees for their herds to graze on.”
The statement read: “Surprisingly when the local people went to inspect the damage done to their farms, the herders again opened fire on them with the locals sustaining gunshot wounds of varying degrees.
“This incident was well documented at the Police Area Command Office, Ilaro.
“Presently, the atmosphere is charged as areas like Ikotun, Ologiri, Akeru, Ilukan, Ijege and Ajibode have continued to come under the influx of herds. The state Governor can no longer continue to turn blind eyes and deaf ears to the tensed situation.
“Our farmers have been sent away from their farms, over 30 primary schools have been shut down, health facilities closed and economic activities paralysed.
“The climax of it started on 10th December 2017 when innocent aged women were attacked and macheted in-between Moro and Eegelu villages for their refusal to submit themselves to be raped by heartless herdsmen”, the statement added.
In Ogun State, a 28-year-old mother of two, Florence Godday, escaped death by the whiskers in Igbo Abo community in Akure North area of Ondo State, as a herdsman attacked her with a machete and attempted to rape her in her farm.
Florence said she was working on her farm alone, when she suddenly noticed that a herdsman was on her farm.
According to her: “I decided to fetch some firewood after working on my cassava farm, when I suddenly noticed the herdsman and decided to leave immediately for fear of possible attack.
“I greeted him and he replied. I sought his assistance in putting the firewood on my head and he obliged. But before I could thank him, he attacked me with his cutlass and cut me on the head.
“Before I could question him or know what was happening, he gagged me, tore my clothes and I raised alarm.
“He took to his heels after he noticed that my noise had attracted other farmers around. He ran away with his blood-stained clothes.
“I managed to get to the nearest community, where I was given clothes to wear. I was too tired and weak to walk again, because I had lost so much blood.
“But they helped me to the nearest hospital where I was treated.
“I can’t really explain the motive behind the attack by the herdsman. But he removed all my clothes after he had cut me.”
A good Samaritan in the community, according to her “contacted my husband, Thomas Godday, who is a member of the Oodua People’s Congress, OPC, and the incident was reported at the Police station.”
Also speaking with newsmen, the husband, Godday, said he mobilised his members to comb the area and also reported the case to the head of Fulani in the area.
Godday said the suspect was arrested and handed over to the police with his blood-soaked clothes, but expressed shock and disappointment over the release of the suspect.
Godday, who is a commercial driver, called for justice, insisting that the matter should not be swept under the carpet. Why we released him—Police Contacted,
State Police Spokesman, Femi Joseph, confirmed the arrest of the suspect, adding that he had been granted bail while investigation continues on the matter.
Joseph said that the suspect was a “scavenger that met the woman on her farm, and attempted to sexually abuse the woman, injuring her in the process.
“The suspect is not a Fulani man, but speaks Hausa. He is from Langtang in Plateau State, but not a Fulani herdsman as claimed by the people.
“The suspect has been granted bail and asked to come back to the station today (Monday), while investigation is ongoing; he will be charge to court after the investigation.”

Author: News Editor

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