Scores of individuals have been confirmed dead when Fulani herdsmen overran native farmers in Agatu and Buruku Local Government Areas of Benue State.

Scores of individuals have been confirmed dead when Fulani herdsmen overran native farmers in Agatu and Buruku Local Government Areas of Benue State.
Although no official figure has been provided by security operatives in the state, unofficial sources say as much as 36 persons were killed.
The gory incident comes barely two days after assailants struck at Ikpele and Okpopolo communities in the state, killing seven farmers and displacing over 6,000 inhabitants.
This latest incident affected Tom-Anyiin and Tom-Ataan communities, Mbaya, Tombu in Buruku Local Government Area of Benue State. 
This is just as the Council Chairman, Godwin Iorsue, the Divisional Police Officer at Buruku, the Area Commander and other stakeholders in the area, on assessment tour of the communities, were ambushed and attacked by the herdsmen who had seized the area and sacked the inhabitants. 
According to Vanguard, the renewed crisis has created a huge refugee situation in the area with over 300 people displaced from the affected communities and scores injured in the bloody clash. 
A source from one of the affected communities disclosed that the Fulani invaders stormed the communities late Saturday night, shooting sporadically and burning down houses, huts, food barn, farmland and economic trees.
The source said: “As I speak with you, fighting is still raging in the affected communities. Although I cannot give you a precise figure of the dead, about 10 have been killed, many are missing and many others sustained injures.” 
Meanwhile, the Council Chairman, Mr. Godwin Iorsue, who spoke on phone, said that he had invited senior security officers to accompany him in assessing the situation, when they were ambushed and attacked by the herdsmen. 
Iorsue said: “It was only God that saved us. They were over 30 and well-armed while we had only four armed police officers with us. Our cars were perforated with bullets.” 
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent Moses Yamu, who confirmed the attack on the Council Chairman and his entourage, said no live was lost. 
Yamu said: “The people ran away from their communities in fear of a possible attack by Fulani herdsmen, but there were neither killing nor destruction of property in the area. 
“I can confirm that the DPO, the Area Commander, the Caretaker Council Chairman and selected stakeholders were attacked by suspected herdsmen when they visited to assess the situation in the area.” 
At press time, Vanguard gathered that fighting in the two communities was still raging.
One of the victims, who managed to escape the assault, said that Fulani herdsmen had invaded the people’s villages from Loco in Nasarawa State and Omola Local Government Area of Kogi State.
He added, “But as I speak to you, well over 36 persons must have been killed on our own side while many are still missing; the situation on ground is horrible because fighting is still going on while women, children and the elderly are fleeing to safety.”
When contacted, the Benue State Commissioner for Works and Transport, John Ngbede, stated,
“The attackers are burning down houses, farmlands, economic trees and many are also being killed but i cannot confirm the number of deaths. All I can say is that Agatu is boiling”.
According to the member representing Agatu Constituency at the Benue State House of Assembly, Sule Audu, the attackers are over 5,000 spread across all the communities, they move towards Oshugbudu.
“Now and I ask, what can less than 40 soldiers on ground do to stop armed invaders numbering up to 5,000?”
However, the state Secretary of Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Alhaji Garus Gololo, denied that the invaders were Fulani herdsmen. According to his words, he doesn’t know who has been attacking Agatu recently, as there is not any Fulani person currently residing in the area
The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent, Daniel Ezeala, assured the journalists that the police and army had been directed to the communities and that the situation was under control.
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