June 15, 2024

Three killed as suspected herdsmen attack Ajokpachi Odo community in Kogi

Suspected herdsmen on Tuesday launched an attack on Ajokpachi Odo community in Omala Local Government Area of Kogi State, killing no fewer than three persons.

The hoodlums also carted away motorbikes and foodstuffs, while scores of residents are missing.

The attack occurred barely a fortnight after the same suspected herdsmen massacred over 20 people in the neighbouring Agojeju Odo community.

It was gathered that the attack occurred when the youths in the area, who were on a surveillance mission, were ambushed and killed by the suspected herdsmen.

According to the locals, the herdsmen, who have been fighting the Agatus for some time, were relocating when they met the youths holding a meeting in Ajokpachi Odo and in an exchange of fire, one Musa Sule and two others were killed.

According to a community leader, Nifu Abuka, who said he spent all night in the bush to escape the attack, since the incident, the people have been sleeping with one eye open.

Abuka added that the lack of security presence in the area has made the community vulnerable to incessant attacks.

He called on relevant government agencies to come to their rescue.

According to him, the age long feud between Agatu and herdsmen in Benue and Nasarawa states have made his community, which share boundary with Agatu in Benue State, susceptible to attacks.

He said, “Presently, the survivors have fled their ancestral homes, and if not checked, it would worsen food security in the area. I am calling on the federal and Kogi governments to take proactive measures to safeguard our people whose only occupation is farming.

“This attack is one too many. Not too long ago, before the Agojeju Odo massacre, the same people had killed about six people in Ajadapa, a neighborhood in Benue State and took over their homes.

“We are perpetually living in fear and don’t know who will be the next victim. Our farms, streams and forests have been occupied by these elements who kill at will.

“We thought that with what happened at Agojeju Odo, the story would have changed by now. Unfortunately, the herdsmen are daily having upper hands, knowing fully well that there will be no consequences of their actions.

“We don’t have arms to defend ourselves. We are begging our governor, Ahmed Ododo, and President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to act urgently before we are all dead.”

Meanwhile, the Chairman Caretaker Committee of Omala Local Government Council, Marknoble Peter Edibo, who confirmed the incident, lamented how his people have been caught in the web of the feud between the herdsmen and the Agatus in Benue and Nasarawa states, which the local government Area shares boundary with.

He said, “The magnitude of the crisis is too weighty for only the council to bear even as the state government has not relented in its efforts to finding lasting solutions to the crisis.”

He urged the Federal Government to treat the insecurity in the area as a national emergency by deploying security agents to the border communities.

It could be recalled that on 9th April, 2024, Agojeju Odo was attacked by suspected herdsmen, who killed over 20 persons.

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