George Okoh in Makurdi
The bodies of six persons, among them, some teachers of Makurdi Local Government Education Authority (LGEA) suspected to have been killed by Fulani herdsmen near Ikpayongo, Gwer local government area of Benue State, have been discovered by residents of the area.
The bodies were discovered after the teachers went missing since last Wednesday.
The victims, according to a source, went to inspect their farmland for rice cultivation under the umbrella of a cooperative society but were ambushed by the armed herdsmen who immediately opened fire on them.
Four of the teachers managed to escape with wounds while six others were not so lucky as they were said to have been killed and their bodies dismembered by the herdsmen.
The mangled remains of the deceased victims remained missing until they were recovered on Thursday with the assistance of some security operatives.
Sources from the area gave the names of some of the deceased victims as Mr. Stephen Tavaku, the Head Teacher of St. Maryâ€™s Primary School, North Bank, Makurdi and Mr. Christian Anankpa, a PhD student of ABU, Zaria who was the Basic Science Teacher, St Maryâ€™s UBE Junior Secondary School, North Bank, Makurdi.
One of Tavakuâ€™s close associates, Hon. Emerald Anyaogu lamented that he was with him a short while before he undertook that journey of no return.
â€œI never knew that my meeting with Mr. Tavaku in his office that day was going to be the last. I went to see him with some journalists about an issue in the school. He looked so excited that day and attended to them very well. He was such a nice man. Oh, death!
Meanwhile, efforts to get the police to confirm the killings failed as both the Commissioner of police, Fatai Owoseni and the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Moses Yamu, did not pick their calls.