Thursday, March 8, 2018

Herdsmen Attack Benue Community During Peace Meeting, Police Confirms

The Police gave yesterday a graphic account of how last weekend’s killings in a Benue community were carried out.

No fewer than 24 people were killed in Omusu, Okpokwu Local Government Area.

They are to be given mass burial tomorrow.

Commissioner of Police Fatai Owoseni said some herdsmen invaded a peace meeting organised by the Okpokwu  Local Government Chairman between the community and the Fulani leader following complaints of an attack, killing people indiscriminately.

The police were alerted to a crisis situation in the community when some youths attacked some herdsmen, before what turned out to be a reprisal, Owoseni said

The police chief said the four herdsmen arrested in connection with the killings were assisting in investigation and would be charged to court.

Following the deployment of more security, normalcy has returned to Omusu community, it was learnt.

Owoseni said the police had also arrested 44 persons for violating the anti-open grazing law

He said the suspects were undergoing trial.

The commissioner of police who reiterated the command’s commitment to ensuring peace in the state, promised  that nobody would be spared for violating the law.

He said one herdsman was recently arrested in Katsina-Ala when  some herdsmen led their cattle into a block making factory during which an altercation ensued.

Owoseni said 10 out of 14 persons who rustled herdsmen’s cattle in Guma Local Government Area were arrested while sharing the meat.

“The police are also involved in confidence-building patrols in Chille, Mbalagh, Makurdi Local Government Area where over 5,000 people were displaced by herdsmen.

“As a preventive measure, we are engaging chairmen of the affected areas, relevant state government agencies and the herdsmen to  find lasting solution to the crisis. We want to urge the residents to alert security operatives of any strange movement and activities.”

The police chief said 12 suspects were arrested for armed robbery and cultism. Weapons, including one locally fabricated pistol, one English pistol, one AK47 rifle, two AK47 Magazines, 29 rounds of live ammunition, two live cartridges, two motorbikes and one motorcycle with gadgets were recovered from them.