By Donald Ukende
Fulani herders have renewed attacks and killing of innocent people in parts of Benue State following the February 25, 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections.
The renewed attacks began in Kwande local government area where scores have been hacked to death by the rampaging Fulani terrorists who have vowed to chase the original owners of the lands and take over.
Barley a day after the elections, the Fulani herdsmen invaded Tse Alaa in Udaaya community around 9pm when everyone was asleep as a result of stress from the polling units.
The invaders opened fire and killed about eight innocent people before moving to the neighbouring village Tse Magum where they attacked around 10pm and killed more people.
According to eye-witnesses, the Fulanis have been attacking various villages of Turan specifically, Moon, Mkômon, Mbadura and Yaav district. Jato Aka is now filled with fleeing villagers. The distance from the River where the armed herdsmen often cross to attack is not far from Jato Aka.
The same spate of attacks is ongoing in Gwer West local government area where many have been killed and others are still missing. Communities of the local government have been sacked by the invading attackers. Most of the people have fled to Naka to look for refuge.
The killer herders have laid siege on the area in the last couple of days, with some analysts linking the attacks to the outcome of the recently announced results of the elections. The pastoralists have never hidden their preference for the APC which they believe will protect them if it wins elections in Benue State. The election results have motivated the killers who have become more daring.
Only last night, the Fulanis attacked Udei in Guma local government area and killed people while many others sustained various degrees of injuries.
Some groups have accused the APC governorship candidate Fr Hyacinth Alia of signing an agreement with Fulani elites including two northern governors that if he becomes the governor of Benue state, he will cede parts of the state to the pastoralists to occupy. This development has angered majority of Benue people who see the suspended priest as a traitor.
Also the attacks by Fulani herdsmen have claimed the life of a commander of the state community guard.
It was learnt that the herders who invaded Tse Fela and Tse Akyegh not only killed the seven people, they also destroyed food banks.
According to the district head of Ikaaghev, Chief Adi-Bata, said that the alarm raised by members of the community reduced the casualties.
He stated: “If not the alarm raised by members of the community, the number of casurties would have been very high.”
The traditional ruler called on the security agencies to have a police post in the area to improve security in the area.
Chairman of the local government, Ayande Andrew, confirmed the killing of seven people.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of Benue State Police Command, SP Catherine Anene, said she was not aware of the incident.