Herdsmen Kill Man in Edo, Behead Another in Plateau

There was intense fear in Igarra and its environs in Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State over fears of attacks by suspected killer herdsmen, who had on Saturday shot dead the driver of a school bus on the Igarra-Auchi road.

The killing of the driver came a day after a farmer was robbed by suspected herdsmen on the Igarra-Okpe road before escaping into the bush.

Luck, however, ran out on nine of the herdsmen yesterday as combined efforts of vigilance group and youths in Okpe led to their arrest with assorted weapons. They were travelling in a Volkswagen vehicle marked Kaduna MKA 555YJ along the Igarra-Okpe road around 7:00a.m. when they were apprehended.

Some angry youths besieged the police station in Igarra demanding that the suspected herdsmen be brought out to face jungle justice. The police had to call for re-enforcement from the Area Command in Auchi and military personnel drawn from the Nigerian Army School of Mechanical Engineering (NASME) to curtail the angry youths.

Some of the youths complained of police’s reluctance to spring to action when alerted of the presence of the killer herdsmen and the killing of the driver. “They normally come to mount check point between Ago and Igarra but when we called them to go after the killer herdsmen in that same area, they complained that they do not have enough fuel in their vehicle. It took the combined efforts of vigilance groups from Igarra and Okpe to pursue them into the bush before they were arrested yesterday.”

Also speaking, the Palace Secretary of Igarra, Elder Folorunsho Dania, told The Guardian yesterday that: “Today is Igarra market day, but many people did not go to the market for fear of attacks. Even churches closed early because of this. We are now living in fear, just few days ago, they chopped off the hand of a farmer in Ojah.

“Few days later, they attacked a cattle farmer, Hassan, cutting him severally in the head, the man died two days ago. Last week, they kidnapped three people from the mining site near Igarra and up till now, their whereabouts are still unknown. We are appealing to the government and security agencies to come to our rescue.”

As at the time of this report, sources at the Igarra police station said the suspects would be transferred to the state command. Several calls to the Commissioner of Police, Babatunde Kokumo, and the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Chidi Nwabuzor, were not answered.

Meanwhile, the people of Bassa Local Government Area of Plateau State were thrown into mourning yesterday following the beheading of their kinsman at Kpara village in Jebbu-Bassa town of the council.

According to the National President of Irigwe Development Association (IDA), Sunday Abdu, attackers suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, arrived the community at night and beheaded the old man.

Abdu, who was one time member of the Plateau State House of Assembly, said the herdsmen destroyed all their dry season farm crops put in place by the Irigwe farmers.

“They put their cattle on the farms to eat and destroy all the crops without any left. They are armed to the teeth and were herding their cows with unabashed recklessness,” he said, adding that before the villagers could alert the police post there, the herdsmen had left the farms, entered the community, beheaded the man and took to their heels.

He claimed that with the latest development, no fewer than 25 people had been massacred in Irigwe land in the past one week.

Abdu described the incessant attacks on Irigwe communities as a deliberate pogrom to exterminate the race, urging the authorities concerned to come to their aid to end the carnage.

Plateau State police command’s spokesman, Assistant Superintendent Mathias Terna Tyopev, confirmed the killing yesterday.




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