Benue - Suspected Fulani herdsmen have killed scores of villagers in Benue State in a long-running conflict over grazing rights, the state government said on Monday.
“The magnitude of killings is enormous. Scores of people were killed in the past two weeks by Fulani herdsmen in at least 10 local government areas of the state,” spokesman Tahav Agerzua told AFP.
The state government was collaborating with security agencies to contain the violence, which is the latest flare-up between local farmers and the herders in the state.
Benue state police spokesman Moses Yamu confirmed the killings but said the affected communities had returned to normal.
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“It’s not a recent development. The clashes happened last month and we are on top of the situation,” he said.
Channels television put the number of dead at 81 in the past two weeks after attacks on farming villages in the Logo and Ukum areas of the state.
The traditional ruler of Logo, Chief Jimmy Meeme, who spoke to Channels Television on the invasion of rural communities said 70 persons were killed in six out of the 10 council wards in his domain.
He blamed the sustained attacks on his people by the herdsmen on territorial occupation campaign.
Eyewitnesses also claim that Turan, Mbagber, Yonov and Tombo communities in Logo were attacked on the same day while Varser in Ukum Local Government came under siege, leaving 53 persons dead.
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, lamented the inability of the security agencies to arrest the perpetrators of the coordinated attacks.
- News 24