Friday, 7 February 2014

#Matters Arising: Youths Block Highway Over Killing Of Farmers In Benue...Solomon Ayado

There was tumult yesterday at Apir community of Makurdi local government area when some angry youths barricaded the busy Benue-Enugu express road to protest killing of two farmers by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
LEADERSHIP Weekend gathered that gunmen in military uniform, suspected to be Fulani herdsmen had yesterday, shot and killed a man, Tarsha Namakaa, who was taking the cows of his uncle, Engr. Samuel Utoo for grazing at Apir village. Another youth was also killed while 57 cows were declared missing.
Apir community is located 20 kilometers away from Makurdi, the Benue State capital and the NNPC pipeline branch as well as emergency unit of the Federal Centre, Makurdi are all situated in it.
The protest which started at about 8am lasted for more than seven hours and the ugly situation caused traffic congestion, preventing easy access to motorists and commuters that plied the busy highway. The traffic jam surpasses the control of men of the Federal Road Safety Corps and the police.
The protesters burnt tyres on the main road to register their grievances, just as several cars were smashed by the irate youths while many persons were injured in the process.
Engr. Samuel Utoo, a PDP chieftain in the state: said “my brother, Namakaa, took the cows, 57 of them for grazing and the Fulani men shot and killed him, displacing the cows that are nowhere to be found. The attack is confusing and at the moment, I have lost all my cows.”
However, the youth leader of Apir community, Comrade Joseph Agera, told journalists that they blocked the road to attract government attention to end the incessant Fulani attacks on farmers. He alleged that “both the state and federal government was insensitive over the matter and that urgent measures were not taken to stop the mayhem.”
Police public relations officer, DSP Daniel Ezeala, who expressed grief over the incident, said the command has deployed policemen to the place to maintain traffic and calm the protesters. He said no arrest was made so far but investigation into the matter was on-going.
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