Daredevil Fulani herdsmen, on Friday, March 12, 2105 shot at the convoy of former Senate President, David Mark, during his assessment tour of the destroyed Agatu communities in Benue State.
The former Senate President, however, escaped unhurt.
Mark was in company with the erstwhile Minister of Interior, Comrade Abba Moro; a member House of the Representatives for Ohimini/Otukpo, Constituency, Honourable Ezekiel Adaji, security aides, journalists and party supporters during the tour of the eight communities.
The communities are Aila, Akwu, Okokolo, Adagbo, Akwu, Ogboju and Odugbeho, which have been destroyed by Fulani herdsmen.
The convoy was at Akwu community when some fleeing herdsmen sighted the convoy and shot at it, causing members of the lawmaker’s convoy to scamper for safety.
The security men attached to the convoy were ordered to remain calm and not exchange fire. The former Senate President thereafter ordered that the convoy continue to move.
Saturday Tribune observed that the eight communities were totally destroyed and deserted except Odugbeho, which was again attacked on Thursday evening.
Speaking to some survivors in one of the communities, Mark regretted the wanton destructions, which he described as “unimaginable” and called on the people to remain calm.
One of the community’s youth leaders, Michael, who spoke at Aila, lamented what he called the porous security in Agatu Local Government Area and asked the former Senate President to tell the president to remove the soldiers as “we are competent now to defend ourselves.”
The youth in the communities accused state governor, Chief Samuel Ortom, of not visiting the affected areas. They added that when the deputy governor, Benson Abounu, visited the areas, he only stopped at Apa, where the displaced persons are camped.
But Mark appealed to the youth to keep the peace and remain law-abiding as he promised to relate what he had seen to the government for prompt action.
Meanwhile, Governor Ortom has raised the alarm on the escalation of attacks on his people by the Fulani herdsmen.
The governor, in raising the alarm, declared that Boko Haram’s terrorism was becoming a child’s play, compared to the atrocities of Fulani herdsmen.
Governor Ortom disclosed this on Friday in Makurdi while administering oath of office on the President, Customary Court of Appeal (CCA), Justice Cosmos Idye and a High Court judge, Justice Augustine Ityonyiman.
He disclosed that the Federal Government had approved the deployment of soldiers to the state to end the lingering farmers/herdsmen crisis in the state.
He said the invasion of some communities by Fulani herdsmen in the state was becoming worrisome adding that “more Local Government Areas are being attacked on daily basis.”
“As we speak, the Fulanis have started moving out of Agatu to other parts of the state.
“What we are witnessing today in Benue is more than what happened in the North-East,” he said.
He said that Agatu, Logo, Tarka, Buruku, and Kwande were all under attack by the Fulani mercenaries.
Ortom charged the judiciary nationwide to support government anti-corruption crusade through effective and timely dispensation of justice.
In a remark, the CCA President pledged to uphold the Constitution and judicial ethics in the discharge of his duties.
Also, presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, told Saturday Tribune, on Friday, that the problem is a perennial crisis.
According to him, there was peace in the past because there were cattle grazing routes but with the Federal Government working in conjunction with states and local governments, peace will be restored in the communities.
“Security is a continuous process. It is the duty of every government to guarantee safety of lives and property. This government is committed to that,” Adesina said.