There is palpable fear in Torkula village in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State after Fulani herdsmen issued threat message to residents asking them to vacate their ancestral homes or face dire consequences.
The marauding herdsmen had attacked Tse Ahentse, Iye and Udei communities in Guma on Tuesday and Thurday, killing 13 persons.
Nathaniel Ikyur, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ortom, confirmed the threat in a statement while reacting to Thursday attack.
“Eyewitness account said the Fulani terrorists who had earlier issued a threat to the Tse Torkula community, asking them to leave the village or face dire consequences, came on motorcycles and without any herd of cattle,” Ikyur said.
Torkula is the ancestral home of the late Tor Tiv IV, HRM Alfred Akawe Torkula.
According to Punch , the herdsmen dispatched two mercenaries to Torkula village on Wednesday and asked the people to vacate the village or be sacked.
“Two of the herders, on Wednesday, rode on motorcycle and stormed our village, Tse Torkula, and issued a threat asking us to leave our village or face dire consequences,” a villager who identified himself as Udenyi said.
Confirming the threat to the publication on Friday, the Chairman of Guma Local Government Area, Caleb Aba, said that palpable fear had gripped the people of Tse Torkula village as a result of the threat.
“Yes, they (herdsmen) sent two mercenaries after their attack on Tse Ahentse, on Tuesday, and other attacks on Idye fish pond. There was an attack on a community close to Yelwata on Wednesday as well,” Aba said.
“These two mercenaries came to Tse Torkula village and said that they were sent by their leaders to come and inform them to leave the village or stand the risk of being invaded,”
The council boss, who said that the threat had instilled fear in the villagers, noted that security operatives had been informed of the threat message.
“The situation in the community is that there is fear of unknown but they (herdsmen) have not come yet. We have reported the threat message to security operatives and they are trying to investigate the threat message by the leaders and they are (security operatives) already patrolling the area,” Aba added.