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Suspected herdsmen kill clan head, in-law, son, brother in Benue

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Reps move to block entry of foreign herdsmen into Nigeria
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…Five-year-old, nursing mother, five others shot

By Peter Duru, Makurdi

A clan head, his son, brother and in-law were, late Friday night, reportedly killed while seven others, including a four- year-old and a nursing mother, sustained serious bullet wounds when suspected armed herdsmen invaded Tse Angbande community, Adaka in the outskirt of Makurdi the capital of Benue State.

The nursing mother, Veronica Akwa, who lost her husband in the attack but  sustained bullet wound on her toe and stomach, said: “The people who were speaking Fulani came around 11pm when we had  all gone to bed, forced our doors open and shot our father, Emberga Akwa, who is the head of our clan.

“They also shot his son  who is my husband, Terhemba Akwa, his brother, Innocent Akwa, and our in-law,  Orban. After killing them they, started shooting sporadically because people started running out of their houses and in the process many of us sustained bullet wounds.

“I was lucky a bullet brushed  my stomach and another caught my leg while I was trying to escape with my two months old baby but God saved us.”

Another survivor and son of the clan head, Mr. Ter Akwa, who sustained serious bullet wound on his hand and was among the set of survivors who were rushed to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, BSUTH, Makurdi, said the attack was unprovoked.

“We did nothing to our attackers who were herdsmen because they were speaking their language. They came, broke into our house and killed my father, his brother, my brother and our in-law who is married to our sister. After that, they started shooting anyone they saw and we ran for our dear lives.

“We had  no problems with any herder, we are farmers and we survive on what we make from our farms. So we just cannot tell what was responsible for  the attack.”

15- year-old Ephraim Akwa, who was drenched in his own blood at the BSUTH, but could mutter some words, said he was running when one of the assailants shot  him.

“I do not know how  I survived. I thought I was dead because they killed our father and our family members and the way they were shooting they wanted to kill everyone,” he added.

In his account, five-year-old  Akwa, who escaped with bullet wound on his arm but lost his father in the attack, said, “I did not know that I was shot, they told me I was shot in the hand at this hospital.

“We were sleeping outside when the people came shooting, my father rushed everyone into the house and managed to lack the door but they came to our door and shot the door open. My father went to plead with them but they killed him and were shooting everywhere.”

Visibly angry Governor Samuel Ortom who, in company of the Benue State Police Commissioner, Garba Mukkadas, and military personnel visited the community for on-the-spot assessment, said, “This is very painful, how can you just kill these  poor people in their sleep for no reasons at all? It is unacceptable.

“Last week, they came without cattle and killed a couple and fled. Security agencies were alerted, they went after them and three of them were caught and rams were recovered.

“This night again they came pretending to be shooting in an adjoining  village around here all to divert attention and when the security agencies rushed there they came back to this village and killed four persons.

“Let me reiterated that this will not be allowed. You can see the entire place, these are poor people struggling to live with what they earn from the farm. And herdsmen will not allow them to have even what to eat. Then what is the future of this state and even the country?”

The  governor, who also visited the survivors at the BSUTH, assured that  government would foot their medical bills.

Vanguard News Nigeria





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