Isiaq, a resident of Bokuta, disclosed that trouble started on Thursday, July 7, when the herdsmen invaded a farm in the community and destroyed crops. The owner of the farm was said to have confronted the herdsmen after which a scuffle ensued and one of the herdsmen was killed.
He said, “The following day, herdsmen went on a reprisal and shot five farmers dead. The village was in turmoil and nobody could go out for two days. It was the police and military men who eventually came to restore peace.”
A source said, “Government must take a bold step to solve this problem. Why must some people destroy the means of livelihood of others to earn their living? It is unfair.”
Confirming the attacks, the Benue state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala James, said, “It was the issue of herders going into farmers’ crops and damaging them. On July 7, at Bokuta village, there was an argument between the farmers and the herders and we learnt that a herder was killed and another one injured.”
“The next day, herders mobilised and went on a revenge mission. They killed three farmers and injured two. The situation was brought under control by the police anti-riot team and the military. Normalcy has been restored to the community. Two suspects – Landan Adamu and Muhammed Musa, were arrested.”
“On Sunday at Tungan Mallam village, some herdsmen also invaded a farm there and killed a farmer. Farmers in that locality also went on a reprisal and killed three herdsmen. Altogether, eight persons were killed.”
The state governor, Sani Bello, who visited the two communities, has reacted to the killings, saying that the masterminds would be found and prosecuted.