By G9ija

Gunmen yesterday invaded the palace of a traditional ruler, Chief Michael Oche, in Ipomoloko, Ado council of Benue State, killed his son and adducted his daughter.

The deceased was identified as Thomson and his abducted sister Rose.

The gunmen reportedly fired warning shots as they entered the community

Council chairman, James Oche, confirmed the incident by telephone, saying that he received a distress call from the area.

“I was told that some gunmen entered the home of the clan head of Ipomoloko through the fence and asked for his wife from the son. The young man told them that he did not know the whereabouts of his mother and they shot him dead, after which they took his sister away,” Oche said.

“I immediately alerted troops of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS) but before they could get to the place, the gunmen had escaped to Atiga forest around Okpokwu LGA,” Oche said, adding that the troops were still on the trail of the gunmen at the time of this report.

Police spokesperson Kate Anene did not confirmed the incident before press time.

no fewer than 1,773 persons have been killed by suspected armed herdsmen in the state since 2018, it was claimed yesterday.

Leaders of socio-cultural organisations in the state said this at a press conference in Makurdi.

They said on New Year’s Day in 2018, herdsmen launched coordinated attacks on Guma and Logo councils, killing over 100 persons, but only 73 bodies were found and given a state burial.

President-General of Mzough- U-Tiv, Iorbee Ihagh, who spoke on behalf of Idoma and Igede ethnic groups, said that since January 2018, deadly, unprovoked killings and attacks had continued unabated.

Ihagh, who was with the chairmen of local government areas affected by the attacks, said 1.5 million people were in Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps across the state, while armed herdsmen had taken over some of the settlements that were attacked.

“The herdsmen no longer come with cows and members of their family as was the case in the 70s and 80s; they are now well-armed and attack harmless villagers and have taken over their settlements,” the Tiv leader claimed.

It was also claimed that the attackers “occupied eight local government areas, namely Guma, Logo, Ado, Kwande, Agatu, Gwer-West, Katsina-Ala, and Makurdi.