There is growing tension in Benue currently following the killing of 43 persons including seven students of the college of Education Katsina Ala by armed militia Herdsmen in Katsina Ala and Gwer west local government areas of the state.
Blueprint learnt that seven persons were killed by the rampaging Herdsmen along Makurdi-Naka road while the remaining 36 persons were killed in Katsina Ala.
Herdsmen had few days ago invaded four council wards of Katsina Ala sacked the whole place and killed over one hundred persons.
In the latest attack, locals said the marauders invaded
Shikaan Mbagena Kpav communities in Katsina Ala local government area of Benue state, Thursday afternoon and the time they left 36 dead bodies were counted including the seven students.
A local who pleaded anonymity, said the herdsmen who were in large numbers and were carrying sophisticated weapons were killing and burning houses leaving ruins behind.
However, a military source told newsmen that 19 people were actually killed in Katsina Ala local government, and attributed the act to local bandits.
According to the military source, “It is true that 19 people were killed in some villages in Katsina Ala local government yesterday (on Thursday) but it was carried out by the local bandits in the area.”
In a similar vein, in Gwer-West local government area of the state, seven people were reportedly killed, and some people were abducted along Naka/ Makurdi road Thursday and others abducted on the road Friday.
Confirming the attack and klling, the chairman of the local council, Mrs Grace Igbabon, said some suspected fulanis attacked a community close to Makurdi and killed five people while some two people were also abducted and later their corpse discovered in the bush
According to Mrs Igbabon, “some suspected fulanis invaded Tinader on the way to Makurdi and attacked villagers and travellers.
“We were holding a stakeholders meeting yesterday between 4 and 5pm when people from Tinader village called me that there was attack on their village, they said five people were killed.
“I later gathered that the suspected fulanis waylaid passengers on the Naka/Makurdi highway and kidnapped some people, including a woman and her child.”
The chairman further intimated that there was also exchange of fire between some fulani herdsmen and villagers at a village Friday morning.
“Even this morning (Friday) at Mbakpa village there was exchange of fire between fulanis and the villagers, one person was reportedly killed,” Gwer West Chairman said.
Mrs Igbabon said she had reported the incident to security operatives in the state.
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the Police State Command, DSP Catherine Anene, who confirmed the attack on Gwer West said, five people were killed, even as she said, she was yet to get report of the incident in Katsina Ala local government area.