It was a bloody afternoon yesterday March 23 in Benue state as some youths of the Tiv tribe clashed with suspected Fulani mercenaries in the state, leaving 55 people dead. The communal clash which is reported to be about land matters happened at Gbajimba, the headquarters of Guma LGA of the state.
Sources say suspected Fulani mercenaries had attempted to attack the Tiv community in the morning at about 10am but were resisted by the youths. They then made a return after a well coordinated attack plan had been hatched. They came in their hundreds, shooting indiscriminately and burning down houses.
“They came in their numbers very early in the morning from Awe, Nasarawa State and made an attempt to seize the town and the local government secretariat but they were confronted by our youths who resisted them, forcing them to beat a retreat. Later in the afternoon at about 1pm, they staged a more coordinated attack on the town, this time they came in their hundreds, shooting, burning down houses, huts and killing anything in sight. The Police station in Gbajimba was helpless because we have less than 50 officers and men on ground at the station and this attack has completely overwhelmed them”. A witness said
Benue State Deputy Governor Steven Lawani while speaking at a thanksgiving service yesterday at the state capital, Makurdi, pledged that residents would reclaim their land being occupied by Fulani herdsmen.