Gunmen on Wednesday killed at least 16 people in Agatu village in Agatu local government area of Benue state.
Daily Trust gathered that the incident occurred about 1:00am in Ebete, Usha council ward in Agatu.
Local sources claimed that the gunmen attacked their victims who were fishing at that time of the night and opened gunfire on them, killing no fewer than 16.
The villagers also alleged that among those killed were three Jukun hunters who were practicing their trade when the gunmen shot at them without any slight provocation.
The Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Major General, Adeyemi Yekini, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Makurdi, saying that, “I received a report this afternoon that some people were killed in Agatu by suspected armed bandits.
“I’m not sure of the number of casualty yet but I don’t think it is up to 16. We have sent a patrol team to the general area where the incident happened.
“The location where it happened, although is in Benue can better be accessed through Loko in Nasarawa state. We are already sending a patrol team there to verify what really happened.”
Meanwhile, the Acting Chairman of Agatu Local Government Council, Alhaji Oyigocho, in a statement made available to our correspondent in Makurdi through his Finance and Appropriation Supervisory Councillor, John Ikwulono, has appealed to the government to quickly come to their aid.
He added that the incident, happening at a time Nigerians are preparing to elect their new leaders during this Saturday’s elections, was capable of disorganising many things.
Oyigocho said his people have never taken laws into their hands despite provocations from alleged herdsmen whom he said had taken over farm lands in most parts of Agatu land.
He called on Agatu people to remain calm in order to allow the law enforcement agencies to carry out their duties effectively.