Unknown gunmen believed to be suspected Fulani herdsmen on Wednesday ambushed and killed three Bagana farmers on Abejukolo-Bagana road in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi state.
Villagers say those who lost their lives in the deadly ambush were in their 20’s and include: Samson Ajene, Adah Audu and Monday Ocho, while the injured: a son of a popular timber dealer, Haruna Ajene, is lying critically at the General Hospital, Abejukolo.
According to locals, the victims: Samson Ajene and Monday Ocho were attacked on their farms at Ojuwo Igboone, while Adah Audu was mowed down by the marauding herdsmen while conveying cassava tubers in his Keke tricycle from the farm.
The natives lamented that the people are living in perpetual fear of attack, stressing that unless the security agencies adopt proactive measures to stop the attacks, the people risk being exterminated from their ancestral homes.
The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of Omala LGA on Security Matters, Mr. Steve Shaibu, said the victims were returning from the farms before they were ambushed and killed.
He said before the attack, the villagers around Obakume villages had allegedly made formal reports of the mass movement of some Agatu militias from Benue state to the forest with sporadic gunshots, stressing that they might have killed scores of cows belonging to Fulani herdsmen living in those areas.
The Special Adviser added that similar incident had occurred at Iyade near Abejukolo, the headquarters of the council, in which the suspected Agatu militias unleashed terror on the herders which reprisals by the Fulanis led to many deaths of the natives and burning of houses.
Shaibu explained that his office has written severally on the nefarious activities of criminal elements from Nasarawa and Benue states, who used the River Niger to launch attack on Fulani herders whose reprisals have always left the locals with tales of woes.
Speaking to DAILY POST, Hon. Aliyu Akuh, the member representing Omala Local Government Area in the state House of Assembly, condemned the killing and maiming of the locals by unknown gunmen, calling on the state government and security agencies to deploy their intelligence to arrest the ugly situation.
He bemoaned the unwarranted crisis between the Agatu in Benue State and the Fulani which erupted in 2013, and had claimed more than 200 lives while property worth millions of naira have been destroyed.
He called on the government to set up committee of enquiry to permanently resolve the impasse to prevent further preventable clashes between the Fulanis and Agatus with its spill over devastating effect on the people of Omala LGA.
Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer in the State, Deputy Superintendent of Police, DSP William Aya confirmed the incident.
He said both the mobile police and conventional police have been drafted to the area to forestall the breakdown of law and order.
He added that he was yet to get the actual number of deaths, but stressed that the situation has been brought under control.