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Kogi community deserted over fear of Fulani herders invasion

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Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello

The people of Agbenema in Opada/Ofejiji ward in Omala Local government Area of Kogi State on Saturday deserted their homes for fear of Fulani herdsmen invasion.  

A villager who spoke with our correspondent on Saturday from his hideout explained that farmers and hunters who went to a popular forest at a boundary between Omala and Bassa local government saw herders camped, claiming that they were preparing for an attack on Agbenema village and its surrounding communities. 

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According to him, unverified rumours had filtered in last week about an imminent attack but was not taken seriously by the villagers.

The community had been invaded in 2019 by armed herders leading to the death of few villagers before the intervention of local vigilante.  

He further narrated that youth and local vigilante have been mobilized into the forest, adding that they have to flee because the villagers could not initially confirm whether proactive steps were being taken by the local hunters or not.  

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“The tension started yesterday, and we are not sure if our vigilante has been drafted, so we had to run away to avoid what happened to us last year. 

“By the time we got to know that hunters and the vigilante have gone into the forest, we had all deserted Agbenema.
Just last week, a woman was reportedly kidnapped few metres from the community on the way to Abejukolo, but was released after local vigilante’s manhunt for the kidnappers.

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Omala is in Kogi East Senatorial District.  

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