BY PETER DURU
MAKURDI- 28 persons including a seven year old boy have been reportedly killed in a fresh conflict that erupted between Tiv farmers and Fulani herdsmen at Mbalagh council ward, just three three kilomotres from the heart of Makurdi, the Benue state capital.
17 persons were also said to be missing in the last two day following the waton killings and destruction of property in the area by the invaders.
Vanguard gathered that the Fulani invasion of the community forced women and children who suffered the most in the community to barricade the Makurdi-Lafia expressway, Wednesday, in protest over the insensitivity of the state government to their plight.
The action led to hours of gridlock on the ever busy Makurdi/Lafia road until soldiers from the 72 Airborne Brigade intervened and dispersed the riotous crowd.
Speaking to newsmen about the development, 45-year-old Mnyam Mattew who was physically battered on his right eyes alleged that the women trooped out to draw government’s attention to their plight.
Mattew, an indigene of the affected community said “the last straw which forced the women to the street as early as 7:00am Wednesday was the rape of a 13-year-old girl by three Fulani invaders”.
Meanwhile, the member representing Makurdi North at the State House of Assembly, Mr. Avine Agbom has questioned the involvement of the Army in a civil peaceful protest which had the blessing of the Benue police command.
“I think the military are so involved in this matter because the operation carried out was highly sophisticated. The operation was highly too professional”.
While condemning the attack on the protesting women, Agbom queried the authority of the suspected soldiers whom he said dispersed the protesters using force which he claimed eventually led to the death of one boy and several injured persons now in the hospital.
In his reaction, the Secretary of Maiyatty Allah, Cattle rearers, Alhaji Garus Galolo, denied the allegation that Fulanis killed Tiv farmers, he added that tjose making the allegation were yet to tell the world the truth.
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