- A burial in Rivers turned bloody after herdsmen invaded it
- The herdsmen attacked due to the disappearance of their cows
- A pastor was among the dead
Ohali-Elu town in Rivers state was left in disarray following an attack perpetuated by Fulani herdsmen on the community which left a pastor and 11 others dead.
It was reported that the herdsmen invaded the community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area On Wednesday, March 30 after a burial ceremony.
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Vanguard reports that the attack was first suspected to be the work of cultist but investigation revealed that it was carried out by herdsmen following the disappearance of their cows.
Ahmad Muhammad who is the spokesperson of the police force in the state said that the killing was not unconnected to the missing cows and claimed only six people were reportedly killed as against the 12 reported by some members of the community.
The spokesperson revealed that only the body of the pastor, Geoffrey Ogagaghene was recovered while the bodies of the others have not been seen.
“The command found it instructive to state that last Thursday, at about 5:30a.m, the police in Egi Division received a report that on Wednesday at about 10:00 p.m, unidentified assailants suspected to be herdsmen struck in Ohali-Elu town leaving one Pastor Geoffrey Ogagaghene with severe cutlass cuts that later led to his death.”
“It’s also pertinent to state that in the build-up to the attack, there was a case of stealing of unspecified number of cows belonging to some herdsmen allegedly perpetrated by the youths of the community, but the case was never reported to the police.
“It is reasonably suspected that the attack might have been carried out by the herdsmen as reprisal for stealing their cows.
“Unconfirmed sources indicated six other persons lost their lives after the attack, the death of these six persons still remain unconfirmed for the simple reason that the police neither recovered nor visibly saw the corpses at the time of responding to the incident.”
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Muhammad said investigation was still going on to bring the perpetrators to book while armed officers have been deployed to restore order.
Meanwhile, Fulani herdsmen under the aegis of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria have condemned reports painting them as criminals and mass killers.
Alhaji Muhammadu Kiruwa, who is the national president of the association said the herdsmen were disturbed by the recent spate of attacks between the farming community and herdsmen and noted that Fulani herdsmen have become infamous serial killers in the media.