- Confusion over arrest of busload of herdsmen with arms in Ebonyi
Suspected Fulani herdsmen yesterday struck again in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State. About 15 Tiv farmers in Saghev district were killed.
They also set houses and shops on fire.
Attacked were Tse-Abi, Tse-Ginde, Tse-Peviv, Tse-Ikyo, Agenke and Gbenke, all in Saghev district.
The attack took place early yesterday.
Spokesman for the community, Paul Unande, said the invaders wore military uniform and launched their attack at about 2am..
Ten bodies have so far been recovered with many others injured.
Mr. Terver Akase, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom, confirmed the killing and burning of houses by herdsmen and said it was a continuation of the agenda to take over Benue by extremists and their sponsors.
Akase asked the federal government to declare the herdsmen terrorists.
He also pleaded with the security agencies to live up to their responsibility.
Police spokesman ASP Moses Yamu and Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni did not respond to phone calls and text messages to confirm the development.
This is coming as two buses conveying some persons with arms and ammunitions were yesterday intercepted by the Police in Ebonyi State.
The Toyota buses were intercepted close to the Onu-Ebonyi bridge on the Abakaliki-Ogoja Federal Highway, Izzi local government area of the state.
The occupants included seven ‘suspected Fulani herdsmen’ allegedly on their way to Taraba State, according to sources
Military uniforms were allegedly found in their luggage.
Taraba, Benue, Nasarawa and Kaduna states, are the worst hit by the wave of killings by herders.
The Ebonyi State Police Commissioner, Mr. Titus Lamorde, in a terse message to The Nation denied any arrest by his men.
“Please it is not true,” he said in an sms in response to an inquiry.
But, the spokesman for the police in the state said: “Yes, we intercepted buses carrying some persons with arms and ammunition going to Taraba but they are not herdsmen, they are Nollywood actors.
“They were wearing army uniforms and we are investigating the matter. I will give details of the matter as soon as we got every detail,” she added.
The Senior Adviser to Governor Dave Umahi on Internal Security, Dr. Kenneth Ugballa also confirmed the incident, saying: “Yes, I heard the story while I was away from the state but right now I am entering the state and in a few minutes l will be at the command to find out the truth about the incident.”
The arrested suspects reportedly told the operatives of safer highways patrol that they were going for a movie shoot in Taraba State.
They were driven to the Police Headquarters Abakaliki for further questioning.
An eyewitness told our reporter that seven Fulani herdsmen were in one of the intercepted buses.
“It was the policemen on Safer Highway Operations that stopped the buses. In their normal stop and search operation, they found firearms and army uniforms stocked in three big sacks.
“Also found were uncountable ammunitions, rifles which is above 16 in number including explosives and local charm,” the eyewitness stated.