Crime

Nasarawa killings: Herdsmen turn deserted homes, farmlands into grazing fields

From Esther Akaa, Lafia 

Barely 48 hours after the attack by suspected herdsmen in Gidan Sule, a Tiv settlement area in Kadarko, Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, the herders have allegedly turned the deserted villages and farmlands belonging to Tiv farmers into grazing field.

The Voice earlier reported that unspecified number of gunmen suspected to be herdsmen with AK-47 invaded Gidan Sule village in the early hours of Saturday shooting any person at sight which led to the death of 10 persons.

The Voice gathered on Monday that the herdsmen, who were said to have mobilised hundreds of their cattles within and outside the affected local government area to carry out the act of mischief are currently grazing and feeding their cattles with food crops of the Tiv farmers in the affected community.

One of the locals, Mr Iorzua Tyodugh, who escaped narrowly from the Saturday attack, told The Voice that his cassava and guinea corn farms both measuring over five hectares have been destroyed by the herders.

“The herders now graze freely on our farm crops, both day and night. They have mobilised their herds from within and outside Keana Local Government.

“Our hope of going back eventually to harvest our crops which is our only means of survival had been dashed. Even if we return home eventually, we will have nothing to feed our families and take care of other needs,” he said.

Reacting to the development,  President, Tiv Development Association (TIDA) in the state, Comrade Peter Ahemba,  described the situation as unfortunate and regretted that, the herdsmen, haven murdered about ten of his kinsmen are now grazing freely on farmlands and destroying food crops.

“The herdsmen have already killed scores of my people with the use of AK-47. Many others may die as a result of hunger with the way the herders are having a field day committing these atrocities,” he said.

Comr. Ahemba, however, commended the efforts of the state government and the security agencies so far made to arrest the ugly situation.

He called for more decisive measures to ensure the restoration of peace in the affected areas to enable the displaced persons return to their homes.

Some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who spoke with The Voice in Kadarko and Giza camps, decried lack of food and shelter.

The IDPs said that although the TIDA president had on Sunday visited the displaced persons to sympathise with them and assured of government’s prompt intervention, no government official has come to see them yet.

They, therefore, appealed to the government and spirited individuals to come to their aid to ameliorate their plight.

The Voice reports that there have been a earlier warning by security operatives urging the herders to halt hostilities and live in peace with the farmers in the state.

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