Eight persons have been reportedly killed by suspected armed herders in three council wards of Guma local government area of Benue state.
Locals said three persons, including two aide workers and a commercial motorcyclist were killed Sunday evening in Nzorov ward, one in Uvir and four in Mbabai council wards.
Chairman of Guma local government area, Caleb Aba, who spoke to journalists, Monday, said the gunmen attacked the three communities almost simultaneously.
Guma said the attack, which he said was unprovoked, was executed with sophisticated weapons.
He said apart from the two aide workers from a non-governmental organization, 360 HSCD, and commercial motorcyclists, most of the people killed were displaced persons who had returned to engage in farm work for the season.
The council boss however said nobody was kidnapped during the melee.
“I have directed that the deceased be buried immediately but corpses of the two aide officials have been taken away by their organisation.
“It is members of OPWS that evacuated the corpses. The matter has been reported to security operatives in the state,” Aba said.
But when contacted, spokesperson of the state police command, DSP Catherine Sewuese Anene said, only three persons were killed.
“The incident is confirmed, “Three persons were attacked and killed on their way to tea farm in Tomanyiin, Guma Local Government Area of Benue state.”
Kidnap victims rescued in Kaduna
In a related development, the Kaduna state police command Monday announced rescue of four kidnapped victims on a highway in Jema’a local government area of the state.
The police’s spokesperson, Muhammad Jalige, said the police, through the divisional police officer in Kafanchan, rescued the victims at about 7 p.m. Sunday.
He said the police were informed that some bandits had attacked two commuting vehicles around Bade forest in the local government and abducted six passengers into the forest.
He said: “On the strength of the information, operatives were immediately mobilised to the area, trailed the bandits into their enclaves, engaged them in a fierce shootout and succeeded in rescuing four (4) victims unhurt whereas the bandits, some with bullet wounds, escaped deep into the forest.
“However, concerted efforts to rescue the remaining victims are tactically being coordinated to ensure they are safely returned.”
Also, the police announced the arrest of one Musa Danyaro, 36, of Nagogo road Malali GRA Kaduna Sunday “in possession of a locally fabricated pistol and three live polymer-case 12-guage shotgun shells.
“The suspect’s residence was further searched where one double-barrelled gun was equally recovered.”
Abbo meets COAS
Meanwhile, Senator Elisha Ishaku Abbo (APC Adamawa North), visited the Army Headquarters in Abuja Monday for urgent establishment of a military brigade in Mubi for further decimation of Boko Haram insurgents in the area.
Senator Abbo, who personally tabled the request before the Chief of Army Staff , Lt – General Faruq Yahaya , said setting up a Military Brigade in Mubi would go a long way in curtailing operations of Boko Haram insurgents within the entire axis .
He told the Army boss that a brigade comprising of 1,500 Soldiers including officers, was earlier set up in the town in 1994 but moved to Biu for reasons best known to the military government at that time.
” If this brigade is established, it will provide the opportunity of establishing one battalion in Madagali, one battalion in Askira Uba and one battalion in Garkida town which in the long run , will make the war against Boko Haram insurgents by the military more potent .
“Of recent, Garkida and particularly Hong Local government area of Adamawa have been attacked by Boko Haram at will. And since January 2020 to date, Boko Haram attacked those axis 23 times and we felt it’s time to end this insurgency”, he said.
In formalising the request, Senator Abbo presented a letter to that effect to the Chief of Army Staff.
Fielding questions from journalists after the courtesy visit, Senator Abbo, who is the Vice Chairman of Senate Committee on Navy, said assurances given by the Chief of Army Staff further raised his hope of an end to the Insurgency very soon .
“I saw the required political will, determination and burning desire in the Chief of Army Staff to bring an end to the Insurgency soon.
“In demonstrating this, he is going to Maiduguri today to celebrate Sallah with the troops on the battlefront in boosting their morale.
“The chief of army staff actually promised to look into the Brigade establishment request because it is in the interest of Nigerians, bringing an end to insurgency.
“As a matter of fact, my Senatorial District in 2014 was captured by Boko Haram where they declared the Senatorial District as a caliphate.
“But the good thing here is that we have started today and hope this will be achieved as soon as possible,” he added.