Suspected Fulani herdsmen last Friday night’s attack Tarfi village, Binnev Ward in Buruku Local Government area of Benue state.
Benue state Governor Samuel Ortom while lamenting, said the death toll in last Friday night’s attack had risen to over 60. Ortom said, “after committing the atrocities they sacked the locals from their abode after which they occupy the ‘captured territory’.”
The Governor, who fought back his emotions, urged the herdsmen to either live in peace with their hosts communities or vacate the state immediately in the interest of peace.
He said he had continually restrained the people from carrying out reprisal attacks on the marauders, but cautioned that the people might resort to self help if security agencies could not prevent the massacre of the innocent farmers.
He said: “It is a bad situation, everyday you hear how my people are being killed, raped and maimed by these mercenaries. They do not have respect for the rule of law or security personnel. The situation has gotten to a point where we contain the crisis in one community, they move quickly to another to massacre the people just like the Buruku case where over 60 innocent persons have been killed. These are wicked mercenaries under the guise of herdsmen attacking us and taking over our farmland. I have said it several times that we do not have land for grazing in the state, let them move out of the state if they cannot respect the rule of law and the sanctity of human lives. There is a limit to which I can appeal to my people to restrain themselves from reprisal attacks, if all of them are killed then I might be the next target. I will have to represent the matter to the President because we are helpless and if nothing urgent is done we might have a major crisis in our hands.”