18 persons including children were killed in a fresh armed Fulani herdsmen attack on Ukohol and three other neighbouring villages in Guma Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state.
The marauding herdsmen who were said to have invaded the communities from neighbouring Nasarawa state at about 4pm on Thursday, November 3, 2022, killed several of the victims who were trading at the village market at the time of the attack.
According to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, the herdsmen who had in the last two months staged repeated attacks on parts of Guma also attacked commuters on the Makurdi-Lafia road close to the Ortese Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs camp where one person was killed and several others sustained injuries.
He said “the attacks started around 4pm, they invaded the communities from neighbouring Nasarawa state and started shooting sporadically, killing anyone they came across.
“Several people were killed at the Ukohol market and other surrounding villages including children, and many others sustained injuries.
“As we speak the entire place is like a war zone, people are fleeing their homes and running to anywhere they can find safety since no one knows where they would attack next because the attack was unprovoked.”
Confirming the attack, the Chairman of the LGA, Dr. Michael Uba disclosed that 10 persons were killed in the market while eight others were killed in three neighbouring villages.
He stated that the herders who appeared in black attire stormed the market in a commando style and started shooting the unsuspecting traders and their customers.
According to him “around 4pm to 5pm on Thursday my people at Ukohol village were attacked by armed Fulani herdsmen who killed about 10 people. The worst of it all is that they even killed children below the ages of two.
“They didn’t stop at that point but went to three other neighbouring villages/settlements and killed another eight making it a total of 18. The 10 persons where killed in the market while the eight were murdered in the villages when they were running back and trying to flee.”
The Chairman who commended security operatives for their prompt response to the distress call from the besieged communities said their timely intervention saved what would have been a massacre in the affected communities.
He said “if they had delayed, the causality figure would have been much more than what we have because it was a market day and they went there and started shooting at the people.
“What is happening now is that they are trying to destabilise and displace our people from their villages and settlements and thereafter occupy them and graze there at night.
“In this latest incident the armed herdsmen appeared in black attire and attacked in a commando fashion. No village was spared and the whole 10 council wards in Guma were affected.
“The development has worsened the IDPs situation in our area because the people are all fleeing their homes and looking for where to hide. It is a sad day for me and my people.”
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene who confirmed the development said she was yet to get details of the incident.