20 Civilians, Five Soldiers Killed in Renewed Fulani Attack on Agatu
About 20 civilians and five soldiers attached to the 72 Battalion of the Nigerian Army in Makurdi, Benue State were believed to have been killed on Sunday by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Agatu Local Government Area of the state.
According to a source, the herdsmen, who came in their numbers, attacked the villages in Oweto and Utuluewu in broad daylight, killing about 20 persons including five soldiers keeping peace in the area.
The spokesman of the state police command, Daniel Ezeala, confirmed the killings of the people but said they were only 12, stressing that situation had been brought under control.
"Twelve persons were killed on Sunday in Agatu. The situation is under control now with the deployment of enough policemen to the affected places just as investigation into the matter has commenced," Ezeala said.
Speaking on the development, the state Commissioner for Works, John Ngbede, who hails from the troubled area, alleged that the Fulani attackers in their usual style, invaded some communities in Agatu at 10a.m. on Sunday.
Ngbede said the attackers killed seven of his kinsmen in Oweto and Utuluewu villages in Agatu while various others sustained different category of injuries even as countless level of destruction was done to properties.
Similarly, the legislator representing the area in the state House of Assembly, Hon. Sule Audu, expressed disgust at the continued attack on his constituents' without any seeming solution in sight.
Meanwhile, the state secretary of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) Garus Gololo, said he was depressed over the killings of the people at a time when measures were in place to end the incessant crisis between the farmers and cattle breeders in the area.
According to Gololo, the attackers must have gained entry to the affected places through Loko in Nasarawa State to carry out their evil plan as no herders to the best of his knowledge are currently resident in the Idoma speaking communities of Agatu.
He urged security men to go after them and ensure that the culprits are arrested and brought to book to serve as a deterrent to other invaders.
"I'm so sad over the killings in the area. I'm also told that the soldiers fell in the middle of the crossfire between the Agatu and Fulanis. The killers should be arrested and prosecuted," Gololo added.