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Suswam’s convoy, herders exchange fire as fresh violence claims 30

The governor had stopped in Tse-kenyi, near the Tor-Tiv’s village, on sighting some houses in flames while on his way to Gbajimba, headquarters of the…

The governor had stopped in Tse-kenyi, near the Tor-Tiv’s village, on sighting some houses in flames while on his way to Gbajimba, headquarters of the council, to sympathise with victims following the rampage in all communities in the area.
After walking around the burning homes for about 20 minutes, mobile policemen in the entourage saw some herdsmen approaching from some compounds.  In a bid to scare them, the policemen led by Commissioner Adams Audu fired shots into the air. This was immediately replied by the herders with sophisticated weapons.
The two sides then went into an exchange of gun fire, and the governor and speaker of the state House of Assembly, Terhile Ahua,  were quickly surrounded by security operatives who a hard time taking them into their vehicles while other members of the entourage went flat on the ground to dodge bullets. Three truck loads of soldiers which accompanied the governor from Makurdi turned back at Ukpam village to return to their barracks when Suswam insisted on reaching Gbajimba, a one and half hour drive from the attacked village.
Earlier, the governor had briefly stopped in Ukpam where five people were killed a few hours before his arrival with many houses still in flames as he visited. Locals told the governor that the attackers came between 6am and 7am yesterday and started killing people. Corpses littered the area with destroyed property at the time of filing this report. At least three villages were set ablaze along the road which the governor travelled to the council headquarters with all the communities completely in disarray. All the yam barns in the area were also burnt. Addressing the few people left in Gbajimba, Suswam regretted the level of damage done to the area but still called for calm, saying  his government was doing everything to curtail the violence.

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