No fewer than three Fulani herdsmen, including a husband and wife, were yesterday reportedly killed at Amla village in Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State following an outbreak of a bloody crisis between Idoma farmers and the herdsmen.
Also killed in the clash, sparked off by the alleged destruction of several farmlands belonging to the host community, were eight cows belonging to the herdsmen just as their settlements in the village were also razed.
It was also gathered that farm produce including harvested yam, beans and cassava belonging to the aggrieved farmers in Otukpo had earlier been destroyed by grazing cows.
According to a source, "apart from farm produce, the Amla and Emichi communities had in the past persistently lamented about the manner with which Fulani herdsmen and their cows trespass into their streams and ponds, making it difficult for them to have access to clean water for domestic use."
Meanwhile, it was also gathered that residents of neighbouring Otukpo-Icho, Otukpo-Nobi, Odudaje, including Amla and Emichi communities have fled their homes and taken refuge in Otukpo town for fear of reprisal attacks from the herdsmen.
Reacting to the development, the Och'Otukpo, Chief John Eimonye, expressed shock and called on residents of the area to remain calm, adding that the matter would be thoroughly investigated with the hope of bringing the culprits to book.
The Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent of Police Daniel Ezeala, confirmed the killings, adding that investigations into the matter had commenced but no arrests had been made for now.