- The fight against unruly herdsmen seems to still be ongoing in Benue State, as there are a number of
- communities such as Ogbadibo in various communities attacks , Okpokwu and southern Benue State are now prime targets for the daring group
- Meanwhile, the Benue State government has commended the security agencies for their attempts to salvage the situation< /strong>
Fulani herder activity in Benue State continues to grow unabated, despite the efforts of Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom.
Remember that Ortom was at the forefront of the campaign against shepherd attacks.
The governor had repeatedly advocated the alleged expulsion of the Benue indigenous people by putative shepherds.
In most parts of the States, shepherds had threatened the peace of the Benue people. In most villages and townships, people have had to flee their homes because of the threat of marauding shepherds.
But the state government had enacted anti-opening grazing, livestock and livestock ban law amid the development in force. But the Miyetti Allah have always defied the law, saying it threatened their members’ freedom.
The Agatu Massacre
Remember, that the Agatu people of Benue State have had bitter tastes of pastoral attacks on several occasions. One of these was the attack on mourners in Okpachenyi in 2013, which killed over 47 mourners. The local government of Agatu resides in the Idoma-speaking area of Benue South, also known as Zone C.
Also in 2013, armed herdsmen attacked Ekwo-Okpanchenyi, Agatu LGA . Killed 40 locals. In the past year alone, over 30 people have been killed in another Agatu village, Odugbeho. Eyewitnesses said the shepherds entered the community around 4am and disappeared into the forest after killing many villagers.
Since 2013, Agatu alone has witnessed over 40 different attacks experienced massive loss of life. Since then, attacks have continued in other areas of the state, including Gbajimba, where suspected herders killed over 50 people in a single attack.
TIV-speaking areas of the state have seen more attacks experienced than any other part of the state.
Herders move further south, Ogbadibo, Okpokwu, now targets
But with the new strategy and the Local Security Forces in Agatu and other areas formally prone to herder attacks, the attackers turned their attention to Okpokwu and Ogbadibo local administrative areas.
The source that doesn’t want his name in block letters because of its security implications said:
“We can sleep now and wake up in the morning because we have local security people who are impressive. They know the attackers’ techniques and have also stepped up. This means that you ke use diabolical means to enter and succeed. They are completely on the ground.”
Herderds attack in Okpokwu
After the hostility and resistance they faced in the Tiv-speaking places resp .in Agatu, herdsmen have migrated south towards Okpokwu and Ogbadibo and on the outskirts of Enugu State, particularly Eha-Amufu.
Suspected herdsmen had 11 people as of the Sunday before last killed in Igama, Edumoga Ehaje, Okpokwu.
According to reports, the attackers stormed the area in the middle of the night, killing local people while also destroying their buildings and other property.
Abba Moro Responds
During a visit to the Benue community, Senator representing the Benue South Senate District, Comrade Abba Moro, warned them, im to be careful when dealing with shepherds, urging them to be vigilant and report all cases to the police or a security agent n nearby.
Moro meanwhile spoke about attending the mass burial in honor of the slain victims. About 24 hours after the attack on Igama, suspected gunmen attacked again in Edumoga Ehaje, the administrative area of Okpokwu Municipal Government.
Although details of the attack have remained vague so far, it is said There are reports of people fleeing their community.
Suspected herdsmen in Ogbadibo
In Ogbadibo LGA, Benue State, suspected criminal herdsmen have gone on a rampage and have kidnapped and killed local people.
Only in the month of June, Owukpa, a local government district, recorded four major incidents of kidnapping allegedly by herdsmen.
< p class ="align-left">First was the attack on the parish hall of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Aho. The kidnappers who stormed the parish to kidnap the priest only managed to kidnap the parish cook. An undisclosed amount of ransom was paid to secure the cook’s release after several days in the kidnappers’ lair.
A few days after the cook’s release, herdsmen launched another attack a hotelier, Mr. Agbara. His car refused to stop for the gunmen who had blocked the road and was riddled with bullets. He was lucky to escape.
A few days later, suspected shepherds kidnapped two in Ankpa Owukpa. After several failed attempts to rescue her, a ransom was paid.
After a failed attempt to adopt a lumberjack, herdsmen struck again around the Orokam-Owukpa border to. As local vigilantes went after the suspects, two of the vigilantes were unlucky when they were gunned down. However, two suspects were caught by vigilantes along with other security forces.
Benue government laments
Benue state government has lamented the continued attacks on people in favor of alleged shepherd killers.
Responding to the recent spike in attacks, Ikyur Nathaniel, the governor’s chief press secretary, said despite efforts by the state government to lobby the governor himself, the attacks of murderous herders continue unabated.
Remember that Governor Samuel Ortom was attacked by the same herders while on his farm in Gbajimba LGA.< /p>
But Nathaniel said:
“There doesn’t seem to be any help anywhere. The government appreciates the efforts of the security agencies, but it seems they are overwhelmed at the moment .”
Police speaking above About Owukpa/Orokam Attacks
The Benue State Police Co mmand has warned criminals across the state, including Idomaland, to prepare for hard times.
Police Commissioner Mr. Tajudeen Abass said his men had been mobilized to vulnerable areas for attacks in Idomaland and throughout Benue to put a stop to criminal activities.
But concerns about the increasing number of crimes being committed by pastoralists in various areas have been raised by communities across the state, despite the efforts of the state government.
Source: Legit. ng