At least 50 persons have been reported dead after fresh attack was carried out by suspected Fulani herdsmen on some Benue communities on New Year day.
According to reports, the attack which continued into Tuesday was carried out at the Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of Benue.
Punch reported that in the Monday’s attacks, the herders invaded two communities in Guma and three communities in the Logo LGAs.
The invading herdsmen were said to have attacked Gaambe-Tiev, Ayilamo and Turan villages in Logo LGA on New Year’s Day at the time the people were returning from the New Year’s service.
The attacks is believed to be in reaction to the implementation of the anti-open grazing law, which the Fulani herdsmen considered detrimental to their means of livelihood.
The assailants were said to have descended on the communities around 9pm on Monday and continued the attack till around 4am on Tuesday, shooting indiscriminately and burning down houses and huts.
A source, who spoke to Punch on condition of anonymity, said,
“There were coordinated attacks on five communities by the well-armed herdsmen who stormed our villages in large number, around 10pm to 4am.
“They would enter any particular compound, and knock at the door. Once you open your door, they will capture you and slaughter you.
“As I speak with you, the affected villages have been deserted and the invaders have taken over and are razing the ancestral homes of the people who have fled from the areas to other towns in their thousands, for fear of being killed.
“It’s a pathetic situation. The development has inflicted untold hardship on women, children and the elderly, who are trekking long distances in search of a safe haven and awaiting the intervention of security operatives.”
Dr. Gajir Tsoho of the Department of Surgery at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), Makurdi who spoke with newsmen, disclosed that over 30 victims of the attack were receiving treatment at the teaching Hospital with many corpses already deposited at the morgue of the hospital.
Among the dead brought to the hospital were a father and his two-year-old son as well as a young man said to have just returned home after completing his National Youth Service Corps.