6 Jan 2016

KINGSLEY IGWE

15 Farmers Killed In Fresh Fulani, Agatu Clash



No fewer than 15 Agatu farmers were killed by unidentified Fulani men in the Udeni Ruwa district of Nasarawa State, while five others were drowned as they tried to escape during the clash.

It was learnt that the suspected Fulani herdsmen invaded two settlements in the Udeni Ruwa district on Sunday night, burning down scores of houses in the area.

But the Police Public Relations Officer, Nasarawa State Command, Ismaila Umaru, who confirmed the incident to our correspondent in a telephone interview in Lafia, the state capital, said seven people were killed and scores of houses were burned during the attack.

According to him, the attack on Agatu farmers was a reprisal by the Fulani herdsmen who took their cows for grazing in the area. He said this followed a report that three Fulani herdsmen were missing.

He said, “There was a report that three of the Fulani cattle rearers who took their cows for grazing on Agatu farm got missing, while the corpse of one of the Fulani men was found.”

The police spokesperson, however, added that the command had already deployed its men to the scene of the event to avoid a break down of law and order.

“The command had already sent additional reinforcement of security agents to the area and normalcy had since returned. There was no arrest so far made by the police in the state,” he added.

A source, who did not want his name to be mentioned, said that the invaders who launched an attack on Okpaya, a riverine village, were Fulani herdsmen.

According to the source, the attackers burnt a part of Udeni Ruwa and killed 15 persons. He said five of the victims were from Okpaya and the 10 others were from Udeni Ruwa.

“My brother, it is unfortunate. Fulani people attacked Okpaya and killed five of our people. They burnt down the entire village and attacked some persons in Udeni.

“They killed three people and all of us from Okpaya ran to neighbouring villages. The most annoying part is that a family man lost his wife and three children while they were on their way to Loko, through a boat,” the source lamented.

The source added that the attackers invaded Okpaya village at night around 11pm on Sunday. He said the entire village was razed by the attackers.

Udeni Ruwa district is the boundary between Nasarawa and Benue states.

Following the incident, residents from nearby villages of Ogoboh, Akum, Kpandera, Akpanaja and Amaku are now living in fear.

Already, some have relocated their children and their aged relatives to neighbouring communities.

KINGSLEY IGWE

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