The people of Tse Torkula community in Guma local government area of Benue State, have been living in fear after a threat message allegedly emanating from suspected herdsmen, ordered them to vacate their ancestral homes or face being attacked.
The threat message, according to the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom, Nathaniel Ikyur, in a statement on Saturday, came after armed herdsmen had attacked Tse Ahentse, Iye, and Udei communities, all in the same Guma on Tuesday and Thursday, killing 13 persons.
“Eyewitness account said the Fulani terrorists who had earlier issued a threat to the Tse Torkula community, asking them to leave the village or face dire consequences, came on motorcycles and without any herd of cattle,” Ikyur said in the statement.
According to him, the herdsmen had dispatched two mercenaries to Torkula village on Wednesday and asked the people to vacate the village or be sacked.
A resident of the Tse Torkula village who identified himself simply as Udenyi, was also quoted as saying:
“Two of the herders, on Wednesday, rode on a motorcycle and stormed our village, Tse Torkula, and issued a threat asking us to leave our village or face dire consequences.”
The Chairman of Guma LGA, Caleb Aba, who also confirmed the threat, said the people of the affected communities were now living in fear as a result, not knowing when the killer herdsmen will strike.
“Yes, they (herdsmen) sent two mercenaries after their attack on Tse Ahentse, on Tuesday, and other attacks on Idye fish pond. There was an attack on a community close to Yelwata on Wednesday as well
“These two mercenaries came to Tse Torkula village and said that they were sent by their leaders to come and inform them to leave the village or stand the risk of being invaded,” the council boss said.
“The situation in the community is that there is fear of unknown but they (herdsmen) have not come yet. We have reported the threat message to security operatives and they are trying to investigate the threat message by the leaders and the security operatives already patrolling the area,” Aba added.
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