Gunmen on rampage, kill Benue monarch’s son, abduct daughter




The spate of insecurity across the northern part of the country took a worse turn Sunday and Monday when bandits, in quick succession, attacked some parts of Benue, Sokoto, Niger and Zamfara states, killing some and abducting several others.  

The tragic development is raising concern over the level of security in the land amidst efforts by security agencies to curb the trend.

In Benue state, the criminals stormed the Ikpomolokpo Palace in Gege ward of Ado local government area in the wee hours of Monday.

In the ensuing melee, the bandits killed the monarch’s son and kidnapped the daughter.

Multiple community sources said the gunmen swooped on the community at about 2.00am and made for the monarch’s palace.

The residents said gunshots from the residence of the monarch woke them up from their sleep, “but there was just nothing we could do in the face of these daring devil-incarnates.”

Confirming the development to newsmen in Makurdi Monday, chairman Ado local government council, James Oche, said he received a distress call on the incident.

He said: “Some gunmen at about 2.00am Monday entered into the residence of the clan head of Ipomoloko through the fence and asked for the wife of the clan head from the son whose name is Thompson.

“The young man told them that he did not know the whereabouts of his mother and they shot him dead and they now took the sister away.”

Meanwhile, Benue local government chairmen and socio-cultural groups have called on the federal government to order deployment of Special Forces to entry points into the state to check the influx of the herdsmen militia.

The chairmen also said 21 local government areas out of the 23, were under attack from the herdsmen who they claimed, were bent on eliminating the people and taking over their ancestral lands with their genocide attacks.


The local government chairmen and socio-cultural groups, which include Mdzough u Tiv, Ochetoha K’ Idoma and Ominyi Igede, named some of the points as Awe, Keana and Doma LGAs of Nasarawa state which serve as their safe haven.

Speaking at a press conference in Makurdi, the state capital, Chairman of Ukum local government area, Steve Ayua, said “the killers also come in through Mbakyol, Tyulugh from Jonwata on the Cameroon border, Moon and Yaav, Kashinbila and Tukun in Taraba state through Utenger Shitile in Katsina-Ala, Benue state.”

He named other places to include Tungwa and Anyibe in Logo, Nyinjirr to Tse-Ahor along River Benue in Makurdi, among others.

He said both the chairmen and socio-cultural groups “believe that deployment of troops to the affected areas will guarantee safety and enable the people return to their ancestral homes.”

The Benue leaders alerted the security agencies and the federal government that with the approach of the dry season, the seasonal movement of armed Fulani herders into Benue state in search of grazing lands and water points usually escalates the attacks on the farmers harvesting their crops.

“This situation in addition to the Fulani militia who have continued to wage guerrilla attacks throughout the raining season will lead to more killings and destruction of farmlands.

“We appeal to Operation Whirl Stroke to intensify surveillance, particularly at the crossing points into Benue state earlier listed to avert the loss of lives.

“Our earnest appeal goes to Operation Whirl Stroke and other security agencies to help our people return to their ancestral lands which are currently occupied by armed Fulani herdsmen,” he said.

Zamfara

And from Zamfara state, the gunmen also had a field day as they attacked residents of Kwarin Mai Saje community in Tsafe local government area of the state for failing to pay a N3 million levy.

During the attack, the hoodlums were also said to have raped some women and abducted six others after looting the village of valuables.

A resident said they initially imposed levies on 13 communities in the area, but Kwarin Mai Saje was not included.

However, sources said a gang associated with banditry kingpin, Ada Aleru, dragged Kwarin Mai Saje into its own illegal tax net two weeks ago.

Sama’ila Tsafe, a native of the area said the bandits felt the residents disrespected them by not paying up.

“The village was attacked yesterday by bandits numbering about 100. They looted the village of every important property and raped many women in their houses. They also kidnapped six people during the attack that lasted for several hours.

“It was not as if the villagers didn’t pay, they couldn’t gather the whole three million naira. They sought for assistance and came up with N600, 000, but the bandits felt bad that they couldn’t get the whole money imposed on the villagers,” he said.

He said the attack on Kwarin Mai Saje will probably serve as a warning to other defaulting villages in the area.

The state’s police spokesperson, Mohammed Shehu, did not respond to calls and SMS sent to him on the attack. (Premium Times)

Sokoto

In a related development, some criminal elements were said to have killed at least 15 people in Goronyo and Illela local government areas of Sokoto state, while also kidnapping five in Tegina, Rafi local government area of Niger state.

Confirming the attack Monday, Governor Aminu Tambuwal said in all, 12 persons were killed in Illela while three lost their lives in Goronyo.

The incidents, according to the governor, happened in between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Governor Tambuwal said this prior to the presentation of the 2022 Sokoto state appropriation bill to the state legislature.

In a similar development,  bandits, who had earlier this year abducted pupils of an Islamiyya school in Tegina, again, attacked  the community weekend abducting five factory workers in the process.

Eyewitnesses said the hoodlums were about 10 in number, wielding AK47 to the shock of some residents who could not come to the rescue of the victims.

The criminal elements, it was further gathered, stormed the town at about 9pm Saturday and headed to a sachet water factory adjacent Government Girls’ Secondary School located in the community.

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