Sixteen people were killed in a fresh attack on three communities in the Gwer West Local Government Area of Benue State by suspected herdsmen. The suspected herdsmen, who invaded the communities on a weekday, shot indiscriminately and killed sixteen individuals.
The Chairman of Gwer West authorities, Francis Ayagan, confirmed the attack. He said, “Sixteen individuals were killed by militia herders in Tse Targu communities, Chiachia, Tse Tuma, and other neighboring villages, all of Gwer West.”
Flying Officer Mohammed Abubakar, the sub-sector Commander of the Operation Whirl Stroke accountable of Gwer West, said it was a reprisal for cows that were allegedly rustled on Friday by individuals he claimed were farm animal guards in uniform.
The sub-sector commander aforementioned seven dead bodies until now has been repossessed from the communities that were badly affected.
Abubakar further revealed that the chairman of Gwer West LGA had given the names of seven members of livestock guards, who were responsible for the violence to the OPWS.
Abubakar revealed that, “At exactly 4.30 pm on Saturday, information got to him that some people in military uniform were sighted at the Agape Forest and I mobilized my men to the forest.
“My men began a quest and discovered that those behind the rustling of cows area unit members of the eutherian guards.
“We later traced them to Ter Nagi’s Palace and discovered 22 cattle there but he (the monarch) claimed that they belonged to him.
“After, the DPO was contacted, who identified the rustlers as members of the Livestock Guards who disguised as military men smuggling cows and putting them out for sale at the Naka Market.
As I speak with you, they are selling the meat at the market. The DPO additionally gave the names of seven persons who are members of the eutherian Guards concerned within the incident.
“Just this afternoon, our men went on a mop-up patrol and discovered four further dead bodies at the scene of the incident.”
The monarch of Naka, headquarters of Gwer West Local Government Area, Ter Nagi Chief Daniel Abomtse, said there was a heavy attack in some communities in his domain.
The monarch, who denied the claim that cows were found in his palace, alleged that four out of seven districts in his domain had been taken over by herdsmen.
He pleaded to the Federal Government to build a military post at Agagbe to avert continuous attacks.
Terver Akase, the Chief Press Secretary to Benue State Governor, said it was spurious for the Operation Whirl Stroke to allege that members of the Livestock Guards were involved in the killing.
“This Operation Whirl Stroke contains skilled troopers who are expected to act professionally. They can’t think about info from subjective source to return and say members of the eutherian Guards are instigating crisis.
Members of the eutherian Guards don’t seem to be armed, they were not given military uniforms also by the Benue State Government. So the military ought to be objective and unbiased in their actions,” Akase said.
But the Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke, Maj. Gen.Adeyemi Yekini, who complained bitterly about the killings, pointed out that some unforeseen forces were deliberately trying to cause chaos in the state.