Metro & Crime

Herders kill Plateau monarch, four in Benue

…farmer beheaded in Ortom’s ward

 

 

Herdsmen have murdered at least four people in Plateau and Benue states. The gunmen, who residents said were Fulani, killed one in Plateau State and three others in Benue State.

 

The herdsmen armed with sophisticated weapons killed the Acting Gwom Rwei of Foron District of Barkin Ladi Local Government of Plateau State, Da Bulus Chuwang Jang, in the midnight of Monday.

 

New Telegraph reports that Barkin Ladi Local Government communities have suffered a series of attacks and killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen in the past few years despite efforts by the state government to restore lasting peace in the area. Investigation showed that the herdsmen invaded the community about midnight and killed Jang.

 

Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, Hon. Jock Alamba, confirmed the killing of the traditional ruler to journalists in Jos. Alamba said the killing of the royal father, which came when efforts to restore peace were on, was a deliberate ploy to plunch back the area into crisis.

 

The chairman said Jang was a critical stakeholder in peace building in Foron District, Barkin Ladi and Plateau State at large. The lawmaker representing Barkin Ladi Constituency in the state House of Assembly who is also the Minority Leader, Hon. Peter Gyendeng, described the traditional ruler’s killing as barbaric, callous and unfortunate.

 

He said: “Our leadership and security agency must rise to the occasion, come out and ensure that perpetrators are arrested and justice is gotten.”

 

The Commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon. Musa Gyang, who is also a native of Foron, decried the monarch’s killing. He said Jang was committed to efforts to achieve peace in the area.

 

Also, the Berom Education and Cultural Organisation (BECO) Chairman, Dagalang Bott, said the previous killings of other members of the community were a prelude to the monarch’s murder.

 

Bott said Jang had always preached peace and harmony to his people. Meanwhile, the herdsmen on Sunday invaded Tse-Apera in Nzorov, Governor Samuel Ortom’s council ward in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State and killed at least three farmers.

 

One of those murdered was said to have been beheaded. New Telegraph learnt that the militants invaded the area about 5am, surrounded the village and opened fire at residents who were still asleep. Following the attack, many people have deserted their homes to take refuge in safer places.

 

The Chairman of the local government, Hon. Caleb Aba, confirmed the attack and the killing. He said two people were killed on the spot while many others were wounded. Aba disclosed that those injured were immediately rushed to the General Hospital in Guma and the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH) where the third person died.

 

He said: “They came and surrounded the village and started shooting sporadically at the people most of whom were woken by the sounds of the guns. “They were knocking on their doors and when they came out they (the invaders) attacked them with machetes and killed them.

 

“They killed two on the spot and wounded eight others who were taken to the Benue State University Teaching Hospital in Makurdi and the General Hospital in Guma Local Government Area where another one died, bringing the number of those killed to three. One of those killed was beheaded.”

 

The chairman believed that the invaders were Fulani herdsmen because “they were identified by their robes and the language they speak”.

 

Aba, who is also the state chairman of the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON), said security men had been deployed to the area to ease down tension. According to him, relative calm has returned to the area.

 

The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Cathrine Sewuese Anene, confirmed the attack and killings. The PPRO, however, said two people were killed. She said: “The attack was recorded on Sunday. Two persons died and five injured, but I am not aware of beheading any one.”

 

The state Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Risku Mohammed, said he was not aware of the attack and killings. Mohammed called for proper investigation into the killing to see if it was carried out by Fulani. He also said the culprits should be sanctioned.

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