The traditional ruler of the Idoma tribe in Benue State, HRM, Chief Elias Ekoyi Obekpa has stated that over ten villages in his kingdom are still under the siege of rampaging Fulani herdsmen.
According to the Och’Idoma, the affected villages include, Ocholoyan, Akpeko, Olegomakwu, Olegoyinlo, Nahim and Olegotekwu among others.
The monarch, who was addressing the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom during his visit to some ravaged communities on Tuesday, posited that the menace of the Fulani herdsmen had turned into a real insurgency beyond herders/farmers clashes.
Represented by the Odejok’Apa, Chief John Anteyin, the Och’Idoma explained that the villages still under siege are the ones sharing boundaries with Nasarawa State and Gwer-West Local Government Area in Benue.
He, however, commended the Governor for his concern which had resulted in the deployment of military officers to Agatu.
He further noted that members of Okokolo community and environs were now eager to return home but cannot do so, for fear of the herders.
The Och’Idoma urged Ortom to ensure the deployment of soldiers and other security operatives to areas under siege as well as communities where villagers were yet to return.
In a similar development, the news reaching us suggest that Fulani herdsmen and locals have been locked in a bloody clash since the wee hours of Friday, in Okada, Edo state.
Okada is home to Igbinedion University and due to the fracas, students have been advised to stay indoors while lectures have been canceled for the day.
The reporters understand that Okada youths set up a roadblock restricting movement around the village as commercial motorcycles, vehicles continue to get torched.
“We heard gunshots earlier this morning. Classes have been canceled, and students are advised to stay indoors. No word on the crux of the matter, though”, says a reporter.
The clash is believed to have stemmed from the death of a 65-year-old farmer killed by the Fulanis on his farmland and a reprisal attack that saw the Fulani settlement in the village razed down.