20-year old Fulani herdsman, Adamu Ibrahim is currently cooling his heels in police custody after he was alleged to have slaughtered two teenage girls and left a third with serious knife cuts in Zongo, Mabala council ward in Makurdi, the Benue state capital, Vanguard reports.
The unprovoked murder quickly became a serious situation as local farmers threatened another round of bloodshed with their Fulani counterparts. The situation was doused by the quick intervention of Hyacinth Dagala, the Benue state commissioner of police and Gabriel Suswan, the Benue state governor, leading to the arrest of Ibrahim, who made helpful confessional statement.
The sole survivor of the incident who is currently being treated at an undisclosed public hospital in Makurdi, 14-year old Jirgba Nyeshilea gave her account of how her two sisters were hacked to death.
Nyeshilea who narrated her ordeal with tear-filled eyes said she and her two sisters, aged 15 and 18 had gone to fetch firewood on Monday, October, 6, 2014 when they were accosted by Ibrahim who asked them if they had seen any man passing by, they replied negative.
She then said he told them to follow him, which they did, apparently out of fear after which they saw two other of his colleagues who together with the suspect raped her two elder sisters before hacking them to death.
“At that point, I started running and shouting for help, but one of them came after me and cut me with a knife and I fell down. I passed out for sometime and in my pool of blood, they thought I was dead, but luckily, when they left, I gathered myself and managed to escape back to the village. That was how I found myself at the hospital,” she recounted.
On his part, Ibrahim admitted to killing both teenagers but denied raping them, saying he was under the influence of drugs. He said he was grazing his cows when a Tiv man accosted him, accusing him of destroying his farm, an accusation he denied. He said while the argument was ongoing, his cattle dispersed in different directions. In his bid to gather them together he was said to have met the girls after which he asked them if they had seen any man to which they said yes.
In Ibrahim’s words: “They, however, refused to disclose the man’s residence, claiming that they did not know his house. The eldest amongst the girls started insulting me and she came and held my cutlass. I told her to get off my cutlass. She continued pulling the cutlass. The second one came and started taunting me and pulling my dagger and in the process, the knife cut her hand.
“I withdrew from them and asked if they can face me and they said yes. That was why I pulled out my knife and cut the eldest. The other one that had a cut on her hand ran and moved away and was watching from a distance, but I also caught up with her and cut her down. I also did the same thing to the third.”
“No other Fulani herdsman was there, I did it alone. I swear that I did not rape them. They pushed me into what I did because I was pleading and asking that they left me alone. I feel very sorry for what I did, because it is a crime. I was actually under the influence of Tramol 200. I normally buy the tablet from one Tiv man in the village. I take it to feel high and for energy because whenever I take it, I hardly get tired of moving about with my cow.”
Benue state commissioner of police, Dagala said he was shocked when he got wind of the incident, saying the manner in which the girls were killed was unacceptable and the police will get to the root of the matter, adding that the issue of Fulani and natives has been around for quite a while, urging Nigerians to be vigilant of goings-on around them.
He said: “I also want to urge members of the public to help the Police by availing us with information that would help in our responsibilities to the society. The truth is that the job of policing should not be left in the hands of police alone. The public should be part of the police project.
“I would also advise that we should all be conscious of strangers around us and report to law enforcement agencies when necessary. This is part of the ways we can effectively police the society and check crimes and criminality in our country,”