The Force Commander of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), Major General, Adeyemi Yekini, has warned trouble makers in Benue state to desist from causing crisis or face the wrath of the law.
Yekini at a press conference on Sunday in Makurdi confirmed the fresh killing of seven people in Agabge village of Gwer West local government area of the state.
But the villagers alleged that 16 people were killed on Saturday evening.
The Force commander said some people are bent on instigating violence in the state and that seven names forwarded to OPWS by the council chairmen of the area who are alleged to be involved in the violence which led to the death of the deceased will be handed to the police for arrest.
“It is obvious that some forces are bent on instigating violence in Benue state and they are armed too. I’m warning them to stop immediately or else, the arm of law will catch up with them,” he warned.
Yekini who had corroborated one of his unit commanders overseeing the Gwer West axis of the operation, noted that some unknown armed men disguised in military uniforms had on Saturday killed innocent people while they rustled cattle in Agabge area.
Earlier, the OPWS unit commander, Flight Lieutenant, Abubakar Mohammed, explained that following a tip-off, he had led his patrol team to where some men (not his soldiers) in military uniform rustled cows in the area under his watch.
Mohammed said his troop repelled the attackers and recovered three dead bodies which they brought to Naka town and that later, another four corpses were recovered, bringing the number to seven.
In the meantime, the Force Commander, Yekini, said he could not ascertained the identity of the attackers but that investigation was ongoing to reveal their true identity while he confirmed the victims to be innocent natives of the community.
Speaking with our correspondent by telephone, the Gwer West Chairman, Francis Ayagah, alleged that the killings were carried out by herders militia as he put the total numbers of those killed at 16 in Tse-Tuma, Shaia, Tse-Jagu and surrounding villages.