32 people were killed by Fulani Herdsmen in communities in Dekina and Omala Local Government Areas of Kogi State on Wednesday.
The killer herders arrived by boat, opened fire on the people and burnt down homes.
An eyewitness said they wore military fatigue and wielded AK 47 assault rifles. Many of the residents who fled for their lives remain unaccounted for.
A source claimed the attackers, “about 500”, burnt down over 20 houses, killed anyone in sight and shot at those who tried to escape into the bushes.
The Deputy Commissioner of Police Monday Bala confirmed the incident during a press conference yesterday but declined to give casualty figures. He said the Commissioner of Police Aliyu Janga has drafted policemen and other security operatives to the area to restore order.
Four members of the family of a serving police officer were reportedly killed during the attack. One resident of the area said the incident might be a reprisal for a 2016 altercation that led to the death of four Fulani herdsmen and an unspecified number of cattle.
In February, Governor Yahaya Bello donated 15,000 hectares of land for the controversial Federal Government’s cattle colony policy. He said Fulani herdsmen would be brought to the land, since the state didn’t have any anti-grazing law, as enacted by neighbouring Benue State.
The Senate yesterday condemned the attack and urged the Federal Government to deploy security agencies in the affected local government areas.
The resolution followed a point of order raised by Senator Atai Aidoko (APC, Kogi East). Aidoko said the herdsmen killed 20 people in Oganenigu community in Dekina and 12 others in Abejukolo and Agbenema communities in Omala.
“I want this Senate to urge President Muhammadu Buhari to direct security agencies to bring the situation under control by arresting the perpetrators and ensuring they are prosecuted. This killing is taking on another dimension, as the killers also amputate people’s hands,’’ he said.