Bayo Oyewale, Lokoja
At least over 25 people may have been Killed by the the rampaging Fulani herdsmen as many received serious degree of injuries, yesterday in Dekina local governmentarea of Kogi State.
The herdsmen were said to entered Oganeinugu community as early as 5.00 am attacked unsuspecting members of community killing and miaming innocent persons.
It was gathered that a relation of unidentified police were completely wiped out while 10 persons are feared dead in Oganenigu in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State after suspected Fulani herdsmen, stormed the area.
In the same vein, the suspected herdsmen have allegedly killed another four person, while several were injured.
It would be recalled that the state Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello had earlier gave a blanket for the horsemen to move to Kogi in their large numbers
Governor Bello also urged the traditional rulers to include Fulani leader in their council, while he ordered that biometric data of the herdmen in the three senatorial Districts of the state.
In addition, the governor was said to have graciously acquired and approved 15,000 hectares of land to federal government grazing colony.
At stakeholders meeting,the tradition the ruler of Dekina, Alhaji Usman Obaje told the governor that Fulani herdsmen have been perpetrating atrocities in area,noting one of his cousins was raped while over 25 people were killed.
Barely three months, the herdsmen have started their characteristic that made them hostile to their host communities despite the persistent warning to leave in Peace with their host communities.
It was learnt that many are yet to return to their home, as there were said to run to cover elswhere.
A source disclosed that the herdsmen were said to crossed to the community* in boats with firearms, fanning through two communities in the Oganenigu ward on Tuesday evening shooting, killing, and razing homes.
But soldiers in trucks were said to have arrived Oganenigu Aloko to offer protection to the 13 communities in the ward as many fled to Iyale town. “Those on ground in many communities are members of local vigilance groups repelling the Fulani men wielding their AK rifles. Many are reportedly missing after fleeing into bushes, so a clear figure of those dead or wounded is not immediately known,” a source said.
Another source said: “Fulanis have invaded Oganenigu. I am told they are in their hundreds and that our people are almost being overwhelmed. At the same time, there is palpable tension in Omala.”
Meanwhile, there are reports that a new set of Fulani herdsmen/ terrorists have crossed into Omala Local government area through the River Benue from Nasarawa State. They are said to be camped in the Obakume forest, preparing for attacks on Abejukolo, the local government headquarters and adjoining villages.
National President of the Ife (Omala) Development Association, Dr James Odaudu has appealed to both the Federal and Kogi State Governments to take urgent steps to forestall the planned attacks.
According to him, the people are yet to recover from last year’s attacks on Bagana and other villages in the local government which led to a number of deaths. Odaudu also appealed to the people to refrain from actions capable of breaching the peace.
The attack in Kogi is coming two years after a similar onslaught two years ago when sectarian violence led to the death of four Fulani men and unspecified number of their animals. The herdsmen were said to be fleeing from Benue State where they were being overwhelmed.
An indigene said the latest attack may be to avenge the events of 2016.
However the Police authorities in Kogi state, confirmed the attack in Dekina local government Area.
The Police pointed out that police and Army had deployed personnel to put the situation under control.
“We can not ascertained the numbers of casualties. But the situation is already calm down in the affected area.”
Last Saturday, a middle aged man, Mr. Joshua Angulu Adejoh, was reportedly killed on his farm in Abejukolo.
It is not clear if this event triggered the latest reprisal attacks because the herdsmen who allegedly killed the farmer abandoned their cattle after members of the local vigilance pursued the attackers.
Media reports quoted the Special Adviser to Omala Local government area Chairman, Mr. Stephen Shaibu, as saying,
“the killing is regrettable because of the Chairman’s commitment to peace between herdsmen and farmers.”
Herdsmen appear to have gone on a killing binge in the middle-belt of the country erasing hundreds of lives in Taraba, Adamawa, Benue, and Plateau States.
The herders have also claimed losses in human lives and cattle across these States, in what appears to be a never-ending disagreement between pastmoralists and farmers
In the last one week, not less than 40 have died on both sides of the herders and farmers divides in Plateau State. Just Wednesday, two security personnel were also killed as herdsmen chanting “Allah Anbar” killed five persons in Dong village in the Jo’s North Local Government Area.