Seven persons have been confirmed dead and many others wounded in a fresh clash between herdsmen and farmers in Agatu area of Benue State.
According to newsmen, the herdsmen invaded some communities in Ega Adapati Island community in the local government at about 10am and opened fire and killing some residents on Sunday and continued in an operation which lasted till Monday night.
Hon. John Ngbede, PDP gubernatorial candidate in the state who is from Agatu confirmed the incident saying that there was a heavy clash in the area which led to the death of seven persons while those who sustained injuries were rushed to the nearest hospitals for treatment.
Governor of the State, Samuel Ortom, have condemned the repeated hostilities in the area, calling for immediate cessation and has directed security agencies to ensure the restoration of peace and the return of normalcy to the area.
The governor has also directed his Deputy, Benson Abounu, to visit the affected area today to meet with traditional rulers, farmers and youths in the area to assess the situation and appeal for peace. He said the State Security Council have made contacts with its counterpart in Nasarawa State, in an effort to restore peace and stop criminals from using the state as a launching pad against the people of Benue State.
Just last month, it was reported that a police officer in Adamawa state and 29 people were butchered by Fulani herdsmen. The herdsmen reportedly attacked four villages as a bid to revenge an outstanding misunderstanding with the farmers for the past two years.
The fight between the herdsmen and farmers in the middle belt and Northern part of Nigeria is an issue that has lingered for so long that President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to put an end to.
The president identifies the poverty as the root cause of the problem and has promised to eradicate poverty and injustice in order to attain lasting peace in the area.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has also spoken about the incessant clashes between farmers and cattle herdsmen in the country.assuring the nation that the issue would be brought to an end in the next two years.
He said government would do this by creating grazing areas in the country where the herdsmen would take care of their cattle.