Armed herdsman (illustration) (National Daily )
Inset: Armed herdsman (illustration) (National Daily )
The leaders of come ethnic groups in Benue state have alleged that there are plans by Fulani herdsmen to attack Makurdi, the capital of Benue state.

According to Vanguard, the chairman of the ethnic groups, Chief Edward Ujege said that 360 military assault rifles by Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore to facilitate the attacks.

"It has been alleged that heavily armed militant herdsmen are being mobilized for the execution of this diabolic attack on the seat of Government of Benue State.

"Though, we have not been able to verify this allegation, we are constrained to state that there is some element of truth in this given that in time past, such similar allegations have been dismissed at the detriment of our villagers."

"Similar threats have been issued on Tiv communities in Nasarawa State with the herdsmen eventually, executing the threats leaving behind sorrow, anguish, condemnation and lamentations.

"To this date, mass killings by herdsmen have continued in the state with thousands of people taking refuge in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the state while others are putting up with their relatives. "Herdsmen have taken over villages

He also alleged that Fulani herdsmen have occupied several villages along Makurdi.

Ujege said "There are strong indications that these herdsmen militia have taken over villages around Makurdi metropolis including the village after NASME Barracks, behind Makurdi Modern Market, University of Agriculture Makurdi axis and Mbalom where two priests and 18 others were killed recently.

"Over 360 military assault rifles are said to have been acquired by the group and distributed to their collaborators in the state preparatory for the execution of the planned attack.

"From the foregoing, we cannot at this point wave aside any bit of information regarding threats by herdsmen to continue with their jihadist activities in the Benue valley. "Step up surveillance

The chairman of the group also called on security personnel to beef up security to protect residents from the herdsmen.

ALSO READ: Herdsmen strike in Kogi, kill 32

"It is on account of this that we call on security agencies to step up surveillance with a view to forestalling attack on Makurdi metropolis. We also urge the security operatives to swing into action and carry out a thorough investigation around Wadata, North Bank Areas of Makurdi as well as Hausa quarters in Gboko.

"We also call on Nigerians, who are resident in Makurdi to be on the watch out and assist the security agencies by reporting suspicious movement within their vicinities to relevant authorities for necessary action. Residents must however avoid giving false information that would cause anxiety and may lead to unnecessary breakdown of law and order," he added.

In the early hours of April 24, 2018, suspected herdsmen attacked St. Ignatius Quasi Parish Ukpor-Mbalom in Ayar-Mbalom community of Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State, killing two Catholic priests and 17 other worshipers.

According to Punch, the attackers burnt down over 100 houses during the onslaught and sacked the entire community.

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