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Sunday, 28 February 2016

Bloody farmers/Fulani herdsmen’s clashes in Benue: 40 killed, scores injured, 2,000 displaced

Despite the efforts by successive governments in Benue State to find solution to the  clashes between  farmers and suspected Fulani herdsmen, the bloody crisis have continued unabated. 
In fact, less than a week to the exit of the last government, over 100 persons, mostly women, children and the elderly, were slaughtered in villages and refugee camps located at Ukura, Gafa,   Per and Tse-Gusa at Ukemgbiraghia Twarev Ward,   in Logo local government area of the state, in one of the bloodiest attacks on Benue communities by the suspected herdsmen. 
The attacked community, until that onslaught, hosted most refugees from previous offensives by the  herdsmen. The incident was like a panorama, bidding the former administration farewell and welcoming the new governor, Samuel Ortom. 
Meanwhile, the crisis has continued unabated since the coming of the present administration with  over 40 persons killed, about 2,000 displaced   and not less than 100 seriously injured. Houses and huts, farmland and food barns, economic trees and farmland and several valuables were also not spared by the rampaging herdsmen who were bent on occupying the ‘conquered communities’. 
Some of the communities that came under the Fulani  include Adeke village at the outskirts of Makurdi the state capital, when suspected herdsmen, last July, besieged the   community, shooting sporadically for over two hours. 
Bothered by the escalating tension that trailed the  crisis, Governor Samuel Ortom appealed to the feuding parties to sheath their sword in order to avert further loss of lives and destruction of property. The governor, who spoke at the end of a  meeting with leaders of Tarka and Buruku local government areas of the state, also issued a seven-day ultimatum to security agencies in the state and paramount rulers in the two   councils   to fish out those fingered in the killings. Ortom said, “We must all live together as a people, both herdsmen and farmers; it should be a live and let’ s live situation and everyone would respect each other’ s rights and privileges and, in such a situation, there would be no need for unnecessary conflicts.” He vowed to punish royal fathers who failed to comply with his directives and urged leaders of Fulani herdsmen in the affected areas to fish out  criminal elements in their midst. The governor also promised to present a memorandum to President Buhari on the need to establish ranches in the country which, he said, remained a permanent solution to the perennial clashes.
 Source: vanguard

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