Leadership (Abuja)

24 March 2013

Nigeria: Three Policemen, Two Farmers Killed in Benue

Three mobile policemen including a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr. Azare Adamu and a police driver (names withheld) were yesterday killed in a renewed crisis between Fulani herdsmen and Tiv farmers in Naka town of Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue state.

A police sergeant identified as Mr. Mutari Ibrahim is missing and two farmers of the Tiv speaking tribe were also murdered, just as five houses were razed by the Fulani herdsmen.

The renewed hostility, which occurred yesterday in Angwuhagh village in Naka town began at about 12 pm when a Fulani herdsman had allegedly gone to pilfer a honey heave belonging to a Tiv farmer in his farm.

The council chairman of Gwer East, Mrs. Eunice Mbajwa who narrated the incident to LEADERSHIP SUNDAY, yesterday, said unknown to the Fulani man, one of the children of the Bee farmer was watching him evacuating the honey from the pot and immediately alerted his father who was said to have questioned the action by the Fulani herdsman.

Mbajwa said "some mobile policemen were on their way to the village in an Hillux vehicle been accompanied by security officer of the council and they were ambushed by Fulani men and killed the unit commander, a driver and another policeman."

She added that some villagers had intervened and rescued the Fulani cattle rearer but said that it was unexpected when few hours later, a group of Fulani herdsmen ganged up and burnt the houses of the Tiv farmers in the area.

The Police Public Relation Officer PPRO, DSP Daniel Ezeala confirmed the incident and said that the two murdered police men were ambushed by the Fulani herdsmen and that their vehicle was shot at before they were finally killed. He said the chief security officer of the local government was also killed and added that the commissioner of police in the state, Mr. Chris Katso has commenced full investigation into the crisis.

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