Suspected Fulani herdsmen have reportedly killed at least 4 persons in Gassol Local Government Area of Taraba State.
The herdsmen were said to have attacked Tiv farmers in the area in the afternoon on Monday, June 4.
According to Punch, the farmers were in their farm at Dinya village when nine armed herdsmen on three motorcycles came and forced them out of the farm.
"One of them told us that the land we were farming on was sold to them by the Village Head of Kwararafa (Dekechin Kwararafa), Alh. Ibrahim Isah", an eyewitness, Mr. Terkimbi Tahav, told the newspaper.
"We were shocked and tried to resist their attempt to chase us out of our farm, but they started attacking us with cutlasses and we ran for our dear lives.
"It was when we were running to safety that we discovered that four of our relations were already dead. They had killed them earlier before proceeding to attack us.
"It’s only because of God that some of us are alive to tell our story," he recalled.
The village head of Kwararafa, Alh. Ibrahim Isah, however, denied the allegations that he had sold out the land belonging to Tiv people in the area to herdsmen.
Speaking to journalists, a youth leader in the area, Mr. Titus Gowon, the deceased were Tiv people who were murdered on their farm along Dogon Ruwa Road while many others sustained bullet and matchet wounds.
He blamed the police for not arresting the situation on time.
"The Divisional Police Officer in charge of Gassol has come around, but he refused to go to the scene of the attack on the account that there was no fuel in their vehicles," he said.
Confirming the attack, Chairman of Gassol Local Government Area, Hon. Yahuza Yaya’u, nine people were seriously wounded in the attack but dismissed the death figures given by the eyewitness.
He said, "Nine people mostly women were badly injured and we are making efforts to take them to the hospital.
"The problem started in Dongon Ruwa and six women and three men were badly cut at the point of death, but no life was lost."
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Yaya’u said the rumour that four persons were killed is an attempt to escalate the crisis.
The farmer/herdsmen crisis has claimed hundreds of lives in the middle belt since January 2018, with Benue state being the most hit following state government's enforcement of its anti-grazing law.