A soldier accused of aiding fulani herdsmen

At least 37 people were killed by gunfire in Benue by suspected invading herdsmen, and militants of the Jukun militia.

The attacks were carried on in the broad daylight yesterday, and took place simultaneously. One on the Moon district in Kwande Local Government extreme, of Benue North-east, and the others in Anyibe, Tse-Dzwegwe, Ayilamo and Tse-Iboor in the Logo Local Government, south. The attacks occurred just south of the Northeast senatorial district.

 Sources from the attacked communities said that if security measures are not put in place, and stepped-up, that the home town of Governor Gabriel Suswam, Anyiin in Logo Local Government would be captured by tomorrow (Friday).

 The immediate past Vice Chairman of Kwande LGA, the Hon Abo Utah,  said that while away in Makurdi, he received information from his family members that their village at Moon, including his country home, that of the District Head, and over a hundred houses, were set ablaze.

Witnesses said that over 21 people where killed by an undetermined number of Fulani mercenaries who were acting in concert with some Jukun thugs from the neighboring Takum (Kashimbila).

The youth in Jato-Aka were said to have been mobilized, and arrested two soldiers, who were thought to be helping the Fulani and Jukun armed men.

The soldiers, it was later learned, were handed over to the police authorities in Adikpo, the Local Government headquarters. They immediately transferred them to the Police Command Headquarters in Makurdi.

The people insisted that the attacks may be a result, if not evidence of, their continuous complaints about armed soldiers from the 93 Division Adda barracks in Takum, Taraba state. It has been rumoured that they are s working in concert with the Jukun militia to attack the Tiv villages.

Eyewitnesses say that there was pandemonium in the concentrated Jato-Aka town with the capture of Waya, a village located just before the town, as the armed men kept advancing towards them unchallenged.

 At the time of writing this report, residents said many had deserted the ancient town, leaving the soldiers who had them surrounded, including other local areas aggressively insisting their colleagues must be handed over to them.

Some victims escaped to Makurdi, and are staying with their relations disclosed how they saw some of their family members, numbering about 16, who were shot and killed on site. It is believed that the armed men were backed by Nigerian soldiers, who were shooting at unarmed residents while another team armed men continued burning down homes.

Three weeks ago in the Northwest senatorial district, the village of the Tor Tiv, Alfred Akawe Torkula were attacked, as armed men razed the villages in mass fires while scores more were killed.

Addressing the media after signing the 2014 appropriation bill into law, Governor Suswam confirmed that he heard security reports of the attacks, but insisted his government is doing every thing within his powers to bring the situation under control.


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