The Benue State Police Command says it has arrested eight herdsmen in connection with the recent attacks on some communities in the state.
Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Moses Yamu, made the announcement in a statement signed by him, a copy of which was obtained by Channels Television on Wednesday.
He said the suspects were arrested in two local government areas of the state following a gun battle with the police.
“The Commissioner of Police, CP Bashir Makama, called for calm, as eight herdsmen – six in Guma and two in Logo (LGAs) – had been arrested in connection with the attacks,” he said.
The statement comes less than three days after at least 33 people were said to have been killed by suspected herdsmen in the last four days.
The state governor, Mr Samuel Ortom, had condemned the killings and called for proactive measures to tackle the incident while youths in the state have called on the Federal Government to intervene in the matter.
Police, on their part, said proper additional deployments have been made to the troubled area and its environs for monitoring to calm the tension of the people.
They said measures have also been put in place to forestall further occurrence and to restore confidence in the minds of the people, adding that the situation has been brought under control while investigation continues.
Giving a brief on the attacks, the Command’s spokesman said: “The Benue State Police Command has recorded attacks on Tomater village in Sengev council ward; Akor village in Nzorov council ward; and Bakin Kwata village in Umanger council ward of Guma LGA by suspected herdsmen, where a total of 17 persons, including seven members of Benue State Livestock Guards were killed, their vehicle burnt and an uncertain number of persons injured in separate attacks between 31/12/2017 and 02/01/2018.”
“Again, Agba-Uko near Azege village and Tse-Aga village of Logo LGA experienced the same fate where one person was killed, one motorcycle burnt, and four persons injured. All the injured from both LGAs are currently undergoing treatment in various hospitals in the state.
“The Command acted promptly by deploying five combined teams of mobile and conventional Policemen to the scene in Guma, led by the Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, ACP Emmanuel Adesina, and engaged the armed herdsmen in a gun duel, forcing them to retreat,” he added.