…ex-Council Chair loses three family members, cries for help
In what appeared to be a coordinated attack, suspected armed herdsmen have reportedly invaded communities in Kwande Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue State, killing over 36 persons, injuring many and burning down houses and food barns.
It was gathered that the attacks which started a few days ago escalated late Friday in parts of Moon, Mbaikyor, Mbadura and Ilyav, Council Wards of the LGA.
A source in the area, who identified himself as Liambe said the marauders launched some of the attacks from River Moon and sustained heavy attacks on communities surrounding the area in order to chase the people away from their ancestral homes.
“The attacks are coming from different directions. They have killed over 36 persons and the figure will increase because the attacks of the last two days have led to the killing of more people and the burning of food barns.
“They want to take over Kwande LGA which is the ancestral home of the Tiv people and they have taken over about five Council Wards and more will fall if something is not done urgently.”
According to him, areas and communities like Jato Aka the ancestral headquarters of the Tiv tribe have not been spared in the attack including Ugbe, Iyon, Ityuluv, Injov Tyopaver, Kendev, Maav villages which all came under attack at the weekend.
Also, a former Kwande Local Government Council Chairman, Mr Bem Tseen who lamented that he has lost three family members in the attack said, “the attacks started a few days before the last election. It has been on and off but became severe a few days back.
“We were at home when the suspected Fulani herdsmen started attacking our communities from different fronts. We have boundaries with Cameron, Taraba state and Katsina-Ala LGA.
“They are attacking our people from the Abande Anwase side people have been killed and many displaced. From the Taraba end, around the Kashimbila area they are attacking and killing our people. So many people have been killed. Kwande LGA is in a state of confusion as we speak
“We are all scared that they might attack Jato Aka which is the centre of the Turan area. If you go to Jato Aka people are just scattered everywhere.
From Abande to Anwase side down to Kashimbila, Anyase extending to Mbahan in fact about four to five Council Wards have been affected. You hear gunshots from several fronts and we are totally confused. As I speak to you three of my family members have been killed.
“Mbaikyor, Mbadura, Moon and Ilyav Council Wards. Swem Hills where the Tiv people initially settled have been ransacked by the armed Fulani herdsmen. People are being killed like animals by the invaders.
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to send security personnel to our communities and save us from these attacks before they take over Jato Aka the ancestral home and headquarters of the Tiv people.” Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, said she was yet to receive full details of the incidents from the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of Kwande LGA.