Suspected Herdsmen Kill 3 Farmers In Benue
By Our Correspondent
Three farmers have been killed by men suspected to be herdsmen at Adaka community, a suburb of Makurdi the Benue State capital.
The special adviser to the governor on security, Lt. Col. Paul Hembah (rtd) who confirmed the killings explained that on Friday, members of Adaka community alerted him that one of their sons went out with two persons who came to rent a piece of land to farm rice to show them the land and never returned back.
He said, “I immediately called some of the security personnel patrolling the area, which includes the police and military. But they said they did not have information on any missing persons, and it was already night so we waited till Saturday morning, and sent out patrols including members of the community.”
According to him, in the course of the patrol they discovered the corpses of the missing three persons brutally killed obviously with machete and the community is suspecting that their killers are not far from herdsmen because the herdsmen have been operating in their vicinity.
Hembah maintained that just last week, the herdsmen alleged that some of their cows which invaded rice farms were killed in the community, adding that the commissioner of police is investigating the incident.
He averred that the people said they killed the cattle because they invaded their rice farms and most of the farms are cultivated through loans which must be paid back after harvest.
“From the pictures we have you can see that the animals that were killed were grazing freely on a large rice farm. And probably the owner of the farm, out of anger and frustration, attacked and killed the cows. You can even see evidences, the cows died on the rice they were destroying and eating so the farmers killed them and left them in the farms,” he said.
He lamented that these are some of the terrible things farmers have been facing, as herders push their cows into people’s yam, cassava and rice farms and watch them destroy and graze on them after which they would walk away.
“It is so painful that a farmer takes loans from banks to farm and when you get there the next day it is all eaten up by cows. So, it is suspected that out of frustration somebody who saw this happening to his rice farm did that to the animals,” Hembah stated.