From Esther Akaa, Lafia
Gunmen who were alleged to be Fulani militia recently invaded Abebe community of Agaza district in Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, killing a church leader, Mr. Augustine Avertse and three others in the attack.
The gunmen, who were said to have been armed with sophisticated weapons, invaded the community at about 10:pm, and shot sporadically, forcing inhabitants of the community to scamper for safety.
One of the victims, Mr. Augustine Avertse, church leader of Saint Augustine’s Catholic Church, Abebe, alongside his father, Pa Avertse Akaa’am were reportedly shot at close range while trying to escape into a nearby bush.
Also killed in the attack were Uwongul John Akodi and one Monday, who was said to be a visitor to the community, while Mr. Vitalis Adam and Friday Gboko escaped with varying degrees of gunshot injuries and are currently receiving treatment at the General Hospital, Obi.
One of the survivals, Mr. Vitalis Adam, who spoke with The Voice on his hospital bed, said that the attack was unprovoked as there has never been any form of misunderstanding between members of the community and the Fulani herdsmen living around the area.
Another survival, who narrowly escaped death stated that the gunmen might have been on a mission to rob a member of the community of the over N200,000.00 realised from the sale of farm produce that took place in the afternoon of the fateful day.
“But the confusion is that, if the attackers were on a mission to rob, while is it that they did not take away anything, including the monies found in the pockets of some of their victims?”
“I think the incident is a sign that another round of crisis between farmers and herders in the Southern Senatorial Zone of Nasarawa State is about to start if care is not taken”
President of the Tiv Youth Organisation in Nasarawa State, Comrade Peter Ahemba, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Lafia, alleging that the unprovoked attack was a calculated attempt by enemies of peace and to cause another round of crisis.
According to him, it was unfortunate that, while Governor Abdullahi Sule-led administration was working hard to ensure a peaceful Nasarawa State, some selfish individuals were working hard to sabotage government efforts.
The TYO president commended the prompt response of the authorities of Keana Local Government Council, security operatives in the area, traditional institution and other stakeholders, even as he called on the Tiv youths in the affected community to remain calm despite the provocation.