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30 feared killed as Fulani herdsmen attack Agatu LG


At least, 30 people were feared killed on Monday in a renewed hostility in Agatu Local Government area of Benue State after Fulani herdsmen allegedly invaded the venue of a burial ceremony of some of the slain policemen in Nasarawa State who were from the council area.

 The massacre took place barely one week after a similar attack by Fulani herdsmen in eight villages in Agatu. Sources told newsmen Monday that the herdsmen struck immediately after the burial resulting in the death of some mourners. Following the development, the state Governor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam who immediately sent his deputy, Chief Stephen Lawani for an on-the-spot assessment of the area, also had a security meeting with security chiefs in the state to fashion out a lasting solution to the crisis.

Suswam, who said the number of those killed was being collated, described the incident as very unfortunate and told newsmen that he was going to brief President Goodluck Jonathan on the matter.

Also commenting, Liaison officer to the governor in Agatu Local Government Area, Chief German Adobunu expressed shock at the unprovoked attack at Ekwo-Okpanchenyi. He said the villagers who fled the troubled area were now taking refuge in Apa and Otukpo Local Government Areas and Kogi State after the Fulani herdsmen destroyed most of their houses at Ekwo-Okpanchenyi.

In his comment, member representing Apa/Agatu at the House of Representatives, Engr Ademu Entonu also condemned the attacks on Agatu people by Fulani herdsmen and called on the Federal Government to deploy security personnel to the area. Similarly, the state Commissioner of Works and Transport, Mr John Ngbede who is an indigene of Agatu also condemned the attack, describing it as unacceptable and unfortunate.

Ngbede called on the Federal Government to come to the aid of the victims and send security personnel to the area to take charge of the situation. Reacting, Secretary of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association in Benue, Garus Gololo said the herdsmen only went after 550 of their cattle which were forcefully taken away by the Agatu people.

Gololo who spoke in a telephone chat with newsmen said the herdsmen value their cows more than anything alluding that the Agatu people were being economical with the truth.

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