Sixteen persons including, a herdsman were on Monday killed in a fresh clash at Omutu community in Okpokwu local government area of Benue state. The killing is coming barely 24 hours after two persons were killed by herdsmen in Humeger, Guma local government area of the state.
According to a statement by the Benue State Police Command spokesman, ASP, Moses Yamu, the victims were mostly women and children.
Yamu in a statement made available to our correspondent on Tuesday morning said that the attack was a reprisal after some youths in the community went berserk, attacked Fulani herdsmen and ‘maimed’ some cows.
“We received information from the security adviser of Okpokwu local government that some irate youths from Omutu engaged some herdsmen in a fight, maiming some cows while two herdsmen were missing.
“A peace meeting was immediately convened by the Council Chairman and the head of Fulani community in the area while a police search party went in search of the two missing herdsmen, one of whom was found dead.”
“Unfortunately, as the search and peace meeting were on going, some herdsmen went on a rampage, hacking 15 persons – mostly women and children, to death while some houses were set ablaze.
The Police spokesman said four suspects had been arrested in connection with the killings, adding that ‘extensive’ patrol of the community was ongoing and to be reinforced by special forces.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said that the number of persons killed in herdsmen and farmers clashes and other violent attacks in Mambilla Plateau, Sardauna Local Government Area of Taraba State, is more than those killed in Zamfara and Benue states combined.
Speaking in Jalingo on Monday, during a meeting between the Fulani and Mambilla ethnic groups, Mr. Buhari said,
”he has a way of gathering his own information on all the crises and killings in the country.”