When suspected armed herders stormed the Odugbeho community in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue state during a burial ceremony on Sunday evening, 27 mourners were reportedly gunned down, and several others were injured.
According to a local source, the marauders invaded and surrounded the community around 6 p.m., during the burial ceremony, and opened fire on the mourners.
According to the source, “after surrounding the village, they opened fire on the people, particularly those who were attending a wake in the burial ceremony and some who were still at a nearby local market because it was a market day.”
“They gunned down their prey and butchered those who caught up with them. So far, nearly 30 corpses have been recovered from the scene of the attack; many have been injured, and the search for more corpses continues.
“The casualty figure would have been far higher if it hadn’t been for the ability of some of the youths who were able to repel them.
“During the exchange, the herders retreated towards Inahem community, heading towards Gwer West, where herdsmen have camped in this part of the state, from where they launch attacks on our communities,” he explained.
Sir John Ngbede, the state chairman of the Peoples’ Democratic Party, PDP in Benue State, and a member of the community, confirmed the attack.
“I received a report from the community leader that armed herdsmen attacked Odugbeho on Sunday evening, and 27 corpses have been recovered from the scene of the attack,” he said. The Chairman of the Local Government Council, on the other hand, has led security personnel to the area for on-the-spot assessment, and we are awaiting an update from him.”
When contacted, Mr. Suleiman Adoyi, Chairman of the Agatu Local Government Council in Benue State, confirmed the attack and stated that 27 corpses had been recovered from the village.
“I have just returned from Odugbeho, and I can confirm that 27 people were killed and some were injured when herdsmen attacked the community around 6 p.m. on Sunday.
“I went to the community with security personnel to assess the situation and get firsthand information about what occurred.
“Although the situation is calm at the moment, the people have fled and abandoned their homes. We discovered that they had all fled to the community of Ogbawulu for safety. Despite the fact that community security has been beefed up.
“We are also monitoring the situation, and a search for more corpses or survivors of the attack is ongoing in the community,” the Chairman said.
In a message, State Police Public Relations Officer, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Catherine Anene, confirmed the development, saying the command had deployed more personnel to the community to prevent further attacks.
“The Agatu attack has been confirmed, and the Commissioner of Police has dispatched additional police officers to manage the incident and prevent further breakdowns in law and order.” “The number of victims has yet to be determined because officers are still working to stabilize the area,” she said.