At least five people have been killed and a youth leader reportedly missing in a fresh attack on communities in two local government areas of Benue State by armed invaders.
Villagers said that the incident happened separately on Thursday at Atakpa community in Agatu LGA and in Iwili, Otukpo LGA of the state.
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.
Sunday Oteyi, a former council secretary of Agatu, said that four people were killed in Atakpa, a village close to his Oshigbugdu while some were hospitalised.
Chairman of Agatu local government council, Joseph Ngbede, explained to our correspondent in Makurdi on the telephone 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.
Ngbede 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.
Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Catherine Anene, confirmed 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.
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