16 people have been reportedly killed in the wake of a fresh attack said to be orchestrated by suspected herdsmen in Agbagbe Community in Gwer West Local Government of Benue state, according to the Commander of the joint military operation in the state, Major General Adeyemi Yekini.
Backstory: Yekini disclosed that the attack took place at about 4:30pm on Saturday. He said he has received intel on the attack, from the Sub-Sector Commander of the OPWS in Gwer West Local Government Area, Flying Officer Mohammed Abubakar, who informed him of suspects in the forest dressed in military uniforms.
“My personnel embarked on a search as well as carried out the investigation and discovered that those behind the rustling of cows were in military uniform. Thereafter, we made contact with the DPO, who equally identified the rustlers as people who disguised in military uniform to rustle cattle in the area,” he said.
The violence is political, according to Yekini: Speaking further on the attack, Yekini expressed regrets as he believed some politically motivated hands might have been behind the crisis in the state as Nigerians get ready to go to the polls again this Saturday to elect state governors and members of state assemblies.
According to Yekini, this wouldn’t be the first time considering the crisis in Agatu Local Government Area, a week to the recently conducted presidential and National Assembly elections.
Reiterating his officers’ commitment to ensuring the protection of human lives and belongings in the state, Yekini however, pleaded with those fueling the crisis to stop for the sake of the innocent people who end up as collateral damage.
Mr. Francis Ayaga, Chairman of Gwer West Local Government Area, in his statement, confirmed the attack which he explained occurred in three villages in Agbagbe, adding that so far, he had confirmed 16 deaths from the attack.