From Uche Nnorom, Makurdi
At least 12 persons were reported killed in Ado Local Government Area of Benue State by suspected Fulani Herdsmen.
Chairman of the council James Oche told our corespondent on phone yesterday that the attack started at about 11 pm Saturday night to early hours of Sunday.
He gave the names of the communities attacked to include, Tologa, Ndi-Obasi and Odoken in Ekile council ward of Ijigban district.
Oche also said that several persons are missing while over 5,000 other including children and women have been displaced.
The Counc boss explained that the attackers came on a reprisal attack after suspected IPOB members crossed over from Ebonyi State to Benue State and killed one elderly Fulani man identified as Muhammad Isah who lived with his 23 children in one of the communities that was presently under attack.
“I suspect that the herders came on reprisal attack because of one elderly Fulani man known as Isah Muhammad who lived in one of the affected communities that shared boundary with Ohakwu local government area of Ebonyi State and was recently killed by IPOB members who crossed over to the community in Ado. The IPOB members killed the Fulani man in anger that their people were being killed in the north.
“We have had peace with them and it was established that Ado people were not responsible for the death of the man. The Deputy governor of Benue State is aware of the situation and Benue State government agreed to sponsor one of the deceased children in school. I wonder why this unwarranted and unprovoked attack on innocent people of Ado.
“I have been in touch with all the relevant authorities who have instructed the Operation Whirl Stroke to go to the affected communities. From the Deputy Governor, the Senator, the House of Representative member, the House of Assembly, the special adviser to his Excellency on Security have all been working to ensure that the situation is brought under control.
“We have set up situation report room in Igumale, as I talk to you Operation Whirl Stroke are going round the affected communities to repel the attackers.
Our correspondent gathered that the development had made people in Obakoto, Odirewu, Offianka, Nwedoga communities in Ijigban council ward to flee their homes for fear of invasion by the marauders
Effort to get confirmation of the incident from the Benue State Command Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, DSP Catherine Anene could not yield result as she did not pick her call.