FIVE people have been feared dead in the fresh crisis between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Ichama area of Okpokwu Local Government Area of Benue State.
According to sources, the Fulani herdsmen were said to have invaded the area, killing five people before carting away 40 cows belonging to the Catholic Diocese of Otukpo.
As of the time of filing this report, women and children were said to be fleeing the area, due to the fear of reprisal.
Chairman of the council, Mrs Julihana Obeta, who confirmed the invasion at Ichama, said that only one person was killed, with the corpse deposited at St Mary Catholic Hospital in Okpoga.
Mrs Obetta said that there was unconfirmed report last week of a truck that brought some Fulani herdsmen to Ichama, stressing that she promptly alerted policemen but with no traces of the invaders.
“Unfortunately, the herdsmen later attacked on Monday night, killed one person and carted away 40 cows belonging to Catholic Diocese at Ichama. As I am talking to you now, many people, mostly children and women, are fleeing the area while we are trying to camp them,” she said.
She further said the police authorities had dispatched men to the troubled area so as to beef up security.
The state secretary of Myettiala Cattle Rearers Association, Mallam Garus Gololo, said that the Fulanis had no problem with Ichama people, adding that unknown gunmen, not Fulani herdsmen, invaded Ichama.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Dan Ezeala, confirmed the invasion, adding that one person was killed and 43 cows stolen.