No fewer than five people have been killed in a fresh attack on communities in the two local government areas of Benue State by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.
It was learnt that a youths leader is still missing in the attack that happened separately on Thursday at Atakpa community in Agatu LGA and in Iwili, Otukpo LGA of the state.
The local farmers of Iwili community in Otukpo LGA alleged that one person was killed during the invasion by the armed invaders while another four were killed in Atakpa village of Agatu LGA.
Daily Trust reports that four people were killed in Atakpa, a village close to his Oshigbugdu while some were hospitalised.
While the Chairman of Agatu local government council, Joseph Ngbede, explained that suspected hoodlums invaded Atakpa on Thursday around 5pm and shot randomly during which four people were killed while the youth leader’s whereabouts have not been established after the incident.
He said, “I can confirm that four people were shot dead, one (youth leader) missing and one injured in the Atakpa village attack by armed hearders.
“It was a random shooting at Atakpa to be precise by 5pm on Thursday and their mission was unknown to us. It was unexpected, the last time we checked, we don’t believe that Atakpa had any issue with them. The youth leader from Atakpa is missing. The police is still searching.
“And as we speak, there are threats to Ogbaulu, near Atakpa. The village has never been attacked but there is a threat now that they are coming.”
Meanwhile, the State Secretary of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Ibrahim Galma, said they were unaware of what actually happened in Agatu and Otukpo respectively since there were no herders’ resident in the troubled areas.
He said the association was meeting in Makurdi at the time of this report over the crisis in the affected communities.
He, however, confirmed that the herders had problem only with Apa, a neigbouring LGA to Agatu.
“We just heard this morning of the Agatu and Otukpo crisis and we are trying to find out what went wrong but they (herders’) don’t have problem there,” Galma said.
Confirming the incident, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Catherine Anene, noted that there was an attack on Agatu but no details yet.
“Attack on Agatu is confirmed but detailed report has not been sent yet,” Anene added.