OVER 15 BODIES RECOVERED IN OBI SUNDAY ATTACKS BY SUSPECTED HERDSMEN
*As attacks become boilerplate for Ortom’s blame
Fresh herdsmen attacks in Obi community leaving at least 15 locals dead among who is a PDP ward chairman, Augustine Abeh, may have sparked bitter tales of how Igede people especially those in Obi geopolitical location have been abandoned by the present Benue state government, to their fate.
In the particular horrendous attack on Sunday, some of the community members who survived the killings to tell the untold story of the assault told that the locale was a place near a broken down truck in Itakpa.
According to an eye-witness account, the herdsmen numbering 8 with AK47 and machine guns invaded the area in four Bajaz-branded motorcycles and began to shoot, killing many people, while many other members of the community ran for safety.
Among the 15 bodies found are two women in their 30s.
The armed herders did not only kill people, they also broke into ranches belonging to two prominent sons of Obi and carted away all the cattle in the ranches.
Penultimate week, similar attacks on Echori sedentary farming community in the same LGA were carried out by the suspected Fulani herdsmen in which two persons were killed and dozens wounded.
The attacks were ongoing while peace and security meeting with the governor Samuel Ortom, Sen George Akume, Sen. Gabriel Suswam and other zone’s leaders was being held elsewhere in the state, to tell how daredevils the herders have become.
Several days later, only a motley policemen and soldiers were sent to the area, but they allegedly left the vicinity almost immediately on arrival and herdsmen said to have cashed in on the insecurity of the area to relaunch attacks on Sunday.
Following this grisly development, the two attacks in less than a fortnight have become a boilerplate for the tale of how the Obi people have been abandoned by Governor Samuel Ortom administration.
Those who gathered at Obarike Ito last night until this morning in the wake of the fresh attacks speak of how the security team sent to the area left without qualm.
If that was not enough, they also pointed at how the administration handled the outbreak of a strange disease in Oye-Obi area of the LGC without a show of concern for lives by the administration.
To further prove what they describe as hatred for the people of Igede if not Obi alone, they said the state governor one year into his first term in office revisited the Mbakine-Aliade-Obarike Ito road which his predecessor Suswam awarded for construction and money fully paid for it. But on discovery that there was a scam, Governor Ortom gave the contractor 30 days ultimatum to resume to site or refund the money, or face the wrath of the law. However, four years down the line, nothing is heard anymore and the road has not been scratched, perhaps because Igede people were to be the major beneficiaries of the road if constructed.
They have also likened the Mbakine-Obarike-Ito-Aliade road to the abandoned Oju-Aawajir road to add to their frustration in Igede.
The groups of Igede people gathered at Obarike Ito in the wake of the fresh attacks on defenseless community are surely not happy with the present Benue state government.
The expression on their forlorn faces is palpable.
By James Ibechi