15 Dead As Farmers Clash With Herdsmen In Benue State

SAN FRANCISCO, January 24, (THEWILL) – About 15 persons have been reported dead in an outbreak of fighting between herdsmen and farmers at Ipiga village in Ohimini Local Government Area of Benue State.

Reports indicate that the crisis erupted on Sunday afternoon when some armed herdsmen stormed the neighbouring Ajegbe village, where they grazed their cattle and destroyed farmlands.

From there they moved into Ipiga village shooting sporadically but met a stiff resistance from the locals.

A fight reportedly ensured in which two of the herdsmen were killed while about 13 of the villagers were also killed.

However, many are still missing and unaccounted for.

The crisis was confirmed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor of Benue State Governor on Fulani Matters, Alhaji Garus Gololo.

“I just came back from the area this afternoon (yesterday). Two herdsmen were killed by the villagers and many cows were also killed; others were rustled,” Gololo said.

“I met the Ardo of the area and everyone has been warned against any form of reprisal attack and there was nothing like that because government had warned against this kind of crisis in the state.”

“Though the body of one of the dead herdsmen has been recovered and is reportedly with the police, the search for the other is still ongoing.”

Meanwhile, gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have reportedly abducted the immediate past Transition Committee Chairman of Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State, Chief Friday Akpoyibo.

Akpoyibo, a younger brother to retired Assistant Inspector General of Police, Marvel Akpoyibo, was kidnapped with two others along Auchi-Abuja road on Sunday on their way to Abuja by the arms-wielding herdsmen who allegedly blocked the expressway with their cattle.

Akpoyibo was going to Abuja to attend the inauguration of the recently appointed executives of the Niger Delta River Basin Development Authority when the hoodlums struck.

The abduction has been confirmed by the state Commissioner of Police, CP Zannah Ibrahim.