Less than 24 hours after Fulani herdsmen killed nineteen people including two Catholic Priests in Benue, the insurgents in the wee hours of Wednesday attacked fifteen villages in Guma and Gwer West local government areas leaving at least 43 local farmers dead.
The herders who residents said were dressed in the Nigerian Army uniforms, attacked the Mbakpaase, Tse-Umenger, Tomanyiin, Tse-Ali Agudu and Mbanyiar communities, while in Gwer West they attacked ten council wards.
The heavily armed men, numbering more than 50, stormed the Tse-Umenger on Tuesday night around 7pm and set the entire village on fire and killed nineteen (16) people.
It was gathered that while the attack was going on, another group of the insurgents numbering over 20 attacked Tomanyiin in Saghev council ward, Tse-Ali Agudu, Mbanyiar at Mbawar council ward at about 11 pm killing 19 persons.
As if the killings were not enough, the armed Fulani herdsmen also invaded and attacked Abiam village in Sengev council ward of Gwer West local government area and killed eight people after they had abducted one person and took him to an unknown destination.
Chairman of Gwer West, Mr. Francis Ayaga told reporters that the herders have occupied ten out of fifteen council wards of the local government adding that the invaders made an incursion into the area from Doma in neighbouring Nasarawa State to attract the people.
Mr. Ayaga said however that he could not ascertain the casualty figure as more bodies were being recovered from the bush but said many people were killed.
A resident of Gwer West who did not want his name mentioned said, the victims who have been taking refuge in Naka, had gone home to find out whether they could return home when the herdsmen attacked them.
“The victims went home to find out whether their village was safe for them to return but they were attacked and abducted by the herdsmen”.
“This morning they collected a phone of one of the victims and called his family members and while he was still speaking they executed him”.
“The herdsmen also called and told family members of the victims to go and collect the bodies of the deceased. But nobody can go there because the herdsmen are still occupying the place”.
Former governorship aspirant on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP in the state, Dr. Tivlumun Nyitse, who hails from Umenger community told journalists that the invaders killed many people in the village and burnt many houses stuffed with food items.
Hordes of the inhabitants including women, children and old people alike who deserted their homes are said to be taking refuge in the bush, while in Mbakpaase, corpses recovered were hurriedly buried by the villagers, who have since fled for safety while lots of people were still missing as at press time.
A source from the area who pleaded anonymity hinted that no single house was reported standing in these villages at the time of this report.
The attacks, it was learnt, occurred same day the herdsmen attacked Gwer East local government and killed 19 persons, including two Catholic Priests.
Commissioner of Police in Benue State, Mr. Fatai Owoseni told journalists that he was yet to obtain details about the killing and promised to divulge them as soon as they were ready.