By Our Reporter
Farming communities in Katsina Ala local government area of Benue state are reportedly under attack. The core of the crisis include Shikaan Mbagena Kpav and environs, which came unde attack at the earlyhours of Thursday morning. Thus far, five dead have been confirmed dead while many others sustained various degrees of injury. With many others yet to be accounted for in the attack that is still ongoing at the time of filing this report, a number of houses are reported to have been burnt down.
Sources from the agrarian communities disclosed that while some residents of the affected communities ran into bushes, others fled to Katsina Ala, the council headquarters. They also disclosed that despite having received notice of impending attacks, security agents are yet to respond to the crisis.
“We woke up this morning only to be surrounded from almost all fronts. We knew what we were up against because the attackers earlier sent us threat messages before the attack of today. Security agents were also notified but I can tell you that though several people have been murdered with many houses burnt down, we did not receive any support from either the police or army. We have to run away to nearby bushes and neighbouring communities for safety,” a source disclosed.
Indications are that the attack is the handiwork of loyalists of the former Benue bandit leader, Terwase Akwaza, also known as Gana. Locals refer to the attack as a response to ongoing onslaught on the group by security agents.
Further investigation by 2n-network indicate that initial reports grossly underestimate the seriousness of the early morning attack. Besides hitting Shikaan Mbagena Kpav and environs, the bandits also attacked neighbouring farming communities, including Shikaan, Tse Afeah and Tse Achian where they killed scores of people and torched numerous houses, including one belonging to one Comdr J I Afeah, razed.
It is also learnt that the well coordinated attack was led by one Akati, allegedly mobilized a number of Fulani herdsmen to conduct what is being described as a reprisal attack on the villages.
Akati who, though was also said to have engaged military personnel in a gun battle however, managed to escape being nabbed having made his escape across the Yooyo River.
Below are some of alleged images from the attack. Viewer’s descretion is advised, please.
“Ghana Boys, led by Akati, carried out the attack. He mobilised some Fulanis to attack us here. He was chased by the military men but unfortunately he managed to escape through Yooyo river, a source disclosed.