John Shiaondo, Makurdi
Some men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen invaded the Ikyoawen community in Turan Kwande Local Government Area of Benue State killing five persons and leaving eight others including a three year old child wounded.
THE UNION gathered that one of the deceased, Mr Ngise Ikyo was the husband of the Chairlady of the Catholic Women Organisation (CWO) Mrs. Blessing Ngise who herself was left with serious bullet wounds as a result of the attack.
It was further gathered that most of the victims were parishioners of the central church at St. Luke Ikyoawen near Jato Aka, home town of an elder statesman and one time Minister of Steel, Wantaregh Paul Iorpuu Unongo.
The Fulani herdsmen we learnt had earlier also attacked the home of Mr. Orya Konijyo, one time Adviser to former governor of Benue state, and Senate Minority Leader Dr. George Akume.
Investigation by THE UNION reveals that the Fulani herdsmen who were armed with dangerous weapons usually come in large numbers and attack the unsuspecting villagers and will later retreats to the neighbouring Taraba state.
One of the residents Ternenge Peter told our correspondent that the victims were resting in ‘Ate’ (resting place) around 1 pm in one Mrs Tabitha’s House which is the only house left in the place when the Fulanis came more than 20 in number, surrounded the house and started shooting at them.
He said the house is the only left in the place after the herdsmen had launched an offensive on the area killing, maiming and displacing many others.
According to him, “though people had started returning after a peace accord by stakeholders of the waring factions, with the attack now the place is almost a deserted place now with no one there.”
However, when contacted the Police Public Relations Officer ASP Austin Ezeani said he was yet to be briefed about the incident. He said “ I will get back to you once I get full information.”