No less than five people have been reportedly killed in Okpokwu LGA of Benue state following a violent clash between farmers of the Idoma extraction and Fulani Herdsmen.
According to PUNCH, the crisis was reported to have started on Tuesday, 3rd January 2017 with Fulani Herdsmen grazing their cows extensively on farmlands at ‘Okpale Ogege’ in Okpokwu LGA and destroying the farms in the process.
The farmers who visited their farms on Tuesday morning had found the cows destroying their farmland and tried to stop them but were attacked by the herdsmen.
An eyewitness said;
"Our people went to their farms on Tuesday morning only to discover a large number of cows and herdsmen grazing and destroying their farms".
"The people tried to stop them but the herdsmen resisted them and in the process attacked and inflicted many of the farmers with machete wounds. The people were forced to flee their farms, and later today (Wednesday) they mobilized youths of the community to chase the herdsmen out of their farms not knowing that the invaders were armed with sophisticated weapons".
"Unfortunately in the ensuing fracas, the herdsmen opened fire on the local farmers leaving about five of them dead and many sustaining varying degrees of injuries. As I speak with you many of the wounded have been taken to hospitals in the local government area while the remains of those found dead have been deposited at the mortuary. Many are still missing and unaccounted for".
"Many of the people have also fled their homes for fear of being killed by the well-armed herdsmen".
The state police has revealed that details of the incident are currently unavailable