In a new segment in the chain of events unfolding in Benue State, armed Fulani herdsmen on Monday allegedly ordered about five thousand residents of Mbatoho community out of their homes.
The armed herdsmen did not shoot anyone, neither did they initially burn houses; they simply ordered the over five thousand residents to move out of the island.
Mbatoho community is a suburb of Makurdi, the Benue State capital.
It was, however, learnt that the herdsmen later torched their farms, houses, and barns.
The State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Awoseni, confirmed the report, adding that report of the incident just got to him.
The residents had marched to Government House, Makurdi, to state their predicament.
The state Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu, received the displaced persons on behalf of government.
Speaking for the community, John Terhemen said the herdsmen invaded the community and forced them out of their homes.
“There are over 5,000 people in the community.
“The herdsmen, who were fully armed with sophisticated weapons, in the early hours of yesterday stormed our community (Mbatoho) and ordered everyone to leave.
“The herdsmen came in their numbers, burnt down our houses, barns and farmland, but they did not harm anyone, they only asked us to leave.”
Responding, Abounu promised government’s prompt intervention, adding that government just received the information from the community.
He said he had directed the Adviser on Security, Paul Hemba, to liaise with the police to visit the area and assess the situation.
According to him, “The community just came to tell us about the attack on them. I have directed the security adviser to report to the police and find out the situation of things; the village is right here (across River Benue).”
He said as soon as government confirmed the report, it would decide on the next line of action.
There were, however, fears that the herdsmen may use the island as a launching ground for their attacks against the state.