Some suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded six communities in Saghev council ward of the Guma Local Government Area of Benue State where 10 persons were reportedly killed.
The residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the attacks started in the late hours of Friday till the early hours of Saturday.
SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that the communities attacked included Tse Abi, Tse Ginde, Tse Peviv, Tse Ikyo, Agenke and Gbenke.
The suspected Fulani herdsmen were said to have stormed the villages in military uniform, shooting sporadically and setting houses ablaze.
One of the residents said, “This is the second time since yesterday (Friday) these herdsmen would attack these villages. As I speak with you, 10 dead bodies have been recovered. As of 2.04pm; gunshots could still be heard, while several houses were burnt down.”
The attacks occurred barely two days after the state Acting Governor, Benson Abounu, raised the alarm of planned attacks on five communities in the state.
The state government, however, urged the authorities concerned to live up to their responsibilities to avert the planned attacks on Benue.
The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Lawrence Onoja, during an interview with our correspondent, said after the state security council received the report of the planned attacks, the officials immediately swung into action by taking a critical look at the report and came to the conclusion that there was a need for the reinforcement of all the security apparatus in the state.
He said, “The security reports further revealed that some of the mercenaries were camped in Rukubi in Nasarawa State, close to Benue, where they have earmarked five different locations in Benue State to launch possible attacks simultaneously.
“We have written to the Inspector-General of Police, Force Headquarters, Abuja. We have also informed the Chiefs of Army Staff, Air Staff and the Director-General, Department of State Services and other relevant security agencies.
“We believe that they will act fast to chase these mercenaries out of our state and also help to end the herdsmen killings in the state.”
The commissioner urged the communities to protect themselves by cooperating and collaborating with all the relevant security agencies in information sharing and local intelligence gathering.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Moses Yamu, said he had yet to be briefed on the attacks. He promised to respond after consulting with the necessary local authorities. (Punch)