No fewer than 47 persons were feared dead in two separate incidents in Benue in what appeared to be a bloody yuletide in the state following a clash between Fulani herdsmen and native Tiv farmers at Agasha and a boat mishap on River Buruku, in Buruku local government area.
Seven persons lost their lives at Agasha, Guma local government area of the state in a fresh skirmish between the natives and Fulani herdsmen, according to Saturday Vanguard.
The crisis, yesterday, had started on Christmas day and has left seven persons dead while property and farmland worth millions of Naira had been destroyed.
“The crisis started just few days to Christmas when the herdsmen invaded Nzorov and Gbajimba and from there they moved to Agasha, burning and destroying anything in sight.
“About seven person may have so far been killed in the fighting, we are yet to account for some missing persons, but in the next few days, we should be able to come out with an authentic figure of the dead,” the source added.
Meanwhile, about 40 persons were feared dead in a Boxing Day boat tragedy at River Buruku when the wooden boat conveying them across the river capsized at the middle of the river.
According to an eyewitness, the victims of the mishap were young fun seekers; “They met their untimely death while returning from a picnic on the other side of the river.
“When they arrived the boarding point at about 8pm yesterday, most of them were drunk, they boarded the canoe and jam packed themselves in the wooden boat against the advise of everyone including the driver that conveyed them.
“Unfortunately, the canoe could not make it to the other side of the river, it capsized at the middle of the river; as I speak to you, bodies of most of the victims are yet to be recovered from the river,” the eyewitness said.
Confirming the incident, the Benue State Police Public Relations Officer, PPRO, Deputy Superintendent, DSP, Daniel Ezeala said seven persons died in the Guma crisis, but pointed out that he was yet to get the full details of the Buruku boat mishap.