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Herdsmen kill 25 farmers, students in Benue, Plateau

Herdsmen believed to be of Fulani extraction invaded Omusu-Edumoga village in Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State and killed at least 24 people.

 

This came as a 17-year-old student of Government Secondary School, Jebbu, Bassa in Plateau State was on Monday evening killed by herdsmen while returning from a tin mining site near Gero village in Jos South Local Government Area.

 

The police also said a herdsman and 15 cows were killed in the same Bassa Local Government Area.

Of the 25 people killed by the herdsmen in Benue and Plateau, two were students.

 

The herders, who were armed with sophisticated weapons, invaded Omusu-Edumoga village in broad-day light on Monday and opened fire on the residents, mostly women and children.

 

It was learnt that a man was said to have lost his two wives, while another lost his wife and two children. Fourteen of the victims are women while two are children.

 

Bodies of the victims have been deposited at the morgues of the Saint Mary Catholic Hospital and the General Hospital in Okpoga, the headquarters of the local government. Those who sustained injuries in the attack were also receiving treatment in the two hospitals.

 

A five-year-old boy, identified as Loko, who was shot in his buttocks and lost his mother to the attack, was weeping profusely when Governor Samuel Ortom visited the now deserted area for an on-the-spot assessment.

 

Conducting the governor and members of State Security Council round the ravaged community, the local government chairman, Mr. Olofu Ogwuche, said the herdsmen had earlier reported to the council through police of the loss of their cows, some kilometres away from the affected community.

 

He said: “It was on Monday that police came to inform me that herdsmen reported that people of Omusu Edimoga rustled their cows.

 

“When I heard of this, I started mediating over this when I received information that herdsmen had invaded the community.

 

“Immediately I got the report, I rushed down. With the help of police, we were able to recover 17 corpses and took them to mortuary at the General Hospital in Okpoga.

 

“This morning, when we came here, we recovered the body of six persons that have been taken to mortuary. But as we were moving around now, the corpse of an 11-year-old girl (in her school uniform) was just recovered. So in all, 24 persons are dead while some are still missing.”

 

Ortom, who condemned the attack, accused Fulani of taking laws into their hands and further demanded the arrest and prosecution of the herdsmen.

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