by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
About five villages in Edumoga-Ehaje, in Okpokwu LGA of Benue State, are empty – as villagers have reportedly fled their homes for fear of attacks by Ak47-armed herdsmen, according to the locals.
One of the youth leaders, Joseph Anmo, popularly known as “Barrister,” told our correspondent on phone that villagers, beginning from Ijeha up to Ipoya-Ogege, fled their ancestral homes last week on account of rumour of impending attacks on their domains by herders.
The rumour came less than two weeks after the massacre of 45 persons in same Zone C in neighbouring villages in Idomaland area of Benue State where the ban on open grazing law is operationalized.
He attributed the incident to previous attacks and killings, which led to discovery of a corpse of a herder in one of the forests near the affected villages.
According to him, the villagers have all ran away to the nearest neighboring villages and small market town like Ojapa, amongst others, for fear of unknown and safety with children, old and young people.
Until last week Sunday, when he spoke to our correspondent of the incident, nothing has been said to have been done to ameliorate the suffering of the fled.
It would be recalled that, Omusu, Igamah and other neighboring villages had been attacked and people killed in the past by herdsmen, but perpetrators were yet to be brought to book.
He appealed to relevant authorities to come to the aid of the affected villagers with securities to protect lives and property.
While efforts to reach out to the Police Command proved abortive, he however said security were promptly notified and were “on top of the situation” with little impact.