Terrorists suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have killed thirty seven residents of Igama in Okpokwu Local Government Area, an agrarian community of about 160 kilometres from Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
According to a survivor’s account, the terrorists attacked the community on Sunday morning when some residents of the rural community, including him and his family members were preparing for the Mass.
The survivor, Ambrose Adah, said: “While we were preparing for the early morning Mass on Sunday, Fulani herdsmen in large numbers on motorbikes invaded our community.
“Members of our community mostly women and youths were killed during the attack. So far 37 corpses have been recovered and presently deposited at St. Mary’s General Hospital, Okpoga,vthe headquarters of Okpokwu Local Government.
“My 3-bedroom bungalow and other valuables were destroyed by the herdsmen. Dozens of houses were razed to the ground. Now, over 500 hundred residents displaced during the attack are seeking shelter at Ojigo ward and other neighbouring communities.
To forestall further attacks, Mr Adah appealed to the federal government to station a military base in the area.
Also, a lawmaker representing Ado/Ogbadibo/Okpokwu federal constituency, Francis Otta, in a statement said thirty persons were killed in the attack.
He said: “Growing up in Utonkon District of Ado LGA, I knew Igama in Ojigo Ward of Okpokwu Local Government Area as one of the most peaceful communities in Benue South until recently when terrorists turned it to a cesspool of blood.
“I, therefore, condemn the killing of 30 innocent people, and still counting. I have contacted security agents who have responded appropriately.”
Meanwhile, the chairperson of Okpokwu Local Government, Hon. Amina Audu, confirmed the incident. She, who also confirmed the incident, said only 12 corpses have somfar been recovered.
According to her, hundreds of residents of Igama and Efeche communities have been displaced by the incessant attacks
She said: “The attack has occasioned a humanitarian crisis, not just at Igama but at Opialu, Ojigo and Utonkon, where survivors have fled to.
The Benue State Police Command’s spokesperson, Sewuese Anene, confirmed the attack but said she was yet to receive detailed information about incident.
She said: “Information was received about the attack in Okpokwu LGA and more security teams had been mobilized to assist men of the police division in the area. I am yet to receive details from the team on the ground.”