On Wednesday Fulani herdsmen stormed the Gbeji community in the Ukum Local Government Area of Benue state and shot to death two policemen and 16 residents.
The state Commissioner of Police, Wale Abass hinted that the gruesome murder of five herdsmen on Tuesday triggered the crisis.
He said, “Two Fulanis coming from Taraba State in a Keke Napep were stopped by some locals, who attacked and killed them.
“Simultaneously, close to Anyiin in Logo LGA, two other Fulanis were killed. Also, at another village, one of the herders was attacked and killed. Thereafter, locals rustled his cows, butchered and shared them.
“So, when these things happened and we got wind of them, we planned to meet and placate the Fulanis through their leader, Miyetti Allah, to avoid any reprisal, unknown to us that they had their plan.
“Around 7am on Wednesday, they (Fulanis) bombarded Gbeji and fired sporadically. Unfortunately, a stray bullet hit one of our officers and he died before being taken to a hospital.”
The police commissioner said the report at his disposal showed that 10 people, including the policeman and some Fulanis, lost their lives.
He noted that security men were on the trail of both the locals and suspected herders who perpetrated the evil.