Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Suspected herdsmen on Tuesday reportedly struck in Chembe settlement in Ukemberagya/Tswarev ward of Gaambe-Tiev, Logo Local Government area of Benue State, killing a village Head, Chief Iyongovihi Ninge.
Daily Sun gathered from sources in the community that the traditional ruler had gone to his farm when the armed herdsmen invaded the farmland with a large number of their cattle to graze.
Our source, who gave his name as Terkura, said that as soon as the herdsmen sighted the village head and some boys who had gone to him in the farm, they wasted no time in opening fire on them, killing the village head on the spot.
“They met the village head in his farm, where he had gone to inspect the clearing of his field in readiness for the cultivation of yam seedlings. They shot him at the back and he died on the spot.
“On hearing the gunshots, everyone within the area ran for their lives, though we cannot at the moment ascertain if more persons were killed as several families were crying that they could not trace their family members.”
He disclosed that the Chembe community and adjourning villages are at the moment deserted, while the rampaging herdsmen are freely grazing on people’s farmlands.
When contacted, the Logo local government council chairman, Mr. Richard Nyajo, confirming the attack, said he had received report that the Chembe village head was killed in the attack.
“It is very true. Herdsmen attacked Chembe and killed the village head. That was the first information that reached me this afternoon. We learnt that, after killing the village head, the herdsmen pursued the people of the community, who fled from their farms and homes on hearing the sound of gunshots,” Nyajo said.
He who could not give the number of casualties at the time of this report, saying he had already notified security personnel about the attack and they had moved to the community to repel the attackers from the area and assess the situation.
“As we speak I cannot tell you that more persons were killed until we get feedback from the security personnel that went into the bush.”
When contacted however, Benue State Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni said he was yet to receive reports of the attack.