At least 10 persons are feared dead in Oganenigu in Dekina Local Government Area of Kogi State after suspected Fulani herdsmen, stormed the area.
A source said the herdsmen came in boats with firearms, fanning through two communities in the Oganenigu ward on Tuesday evening shooting, killing, and razing homes.
But soldiers in trucks were said to have arrived Oganenigu Aloko to offer protection to the 13 communities in the ward as many fled to Iyale town. “Those on ground in many communities are members of local vigilance groups repelling the Fulani men wielding their AK rifles. Many are reportedly missing after fleeing into bushes, so a clear figure of those dead or wounded is not immediately known,” a source said.
Another source said: “Fulanis have invaded Oganenigu. I am told they are in their hundreds and that our people are almost being overwhelmed. At the same time, there is palpable tension in Omala.”
Meanwhile, there are reports that a new set of Fulani herdsmen/ terrorists have crossed into Omala Local government area through the River Benue from Nasarawa State. They are said to be camped in the Obakume forest, preparing for attacks on Abejukolo, the local government headquarters and adjoining villages.
National President of the Ife (Omala) Development Association, Dr James Odaudu has appealed to both the Federal and Kogi State Governments to take urgent steps to forestall the planned attacks.
According to him, the people are yet to recover from last year’s attacks on Bagana and other villages in the local government which led to a number of deaths. Odaudu also appealed to the people to refrain from actions capable of breaching the peace.
The attack in Kogi is coming two years after a similar onslaught two years ago when sectarian violence led to the death of four Fulani men and unspecified number of their animals. The herdsmen were said to be fleeing from Benue State where they were being overwhelmed.
An indigene said the latest attack may be to avenge the events of 2016.
A Police statement was being expected as at press time.
Last Saturday, a middle aged man, Mr. Joshua Angulu Adejoh, was reportedly killed on his farm in Abejukolo.
It is not clear if this event triggered the latest reprisal attacks because the herdsmen who allegedly killed the farmer abandoned their cattle after members of the local vigilance pursued the attackers.
Media reports quoted the Special Adviser to Omala Local government area Chairman, Mr. Stephen Shaibu, as saying,
“the killing is regrettable because of the Chairman’s commitment to peace between herdsmen and farmers.”
Herdsmen appear to have gone on a killing binge in the middle-belt of the country erasing hundreds of lives in Taraba, Adamawa, Benue, and Plateau States.
The herders have also claimed losses in human lives and cattle across these States, in what appears to be a never-ending disagreement between pastmoralists and farmers
In the last one week, not less than 40 have died on both sides of the herders and farmers divides in Plateau State. Just Wednesday, two security personnel were also killed as herdsmen chanting “Allah Anbar” killed five persons in Dong village in the Jo’s North Local Government Area.