A peaceful protest organised by Benue State Students, turned bloody after soldiers reportedly shot dead five people during the protest which was later hijacked by hoodlums as the governor escaped being lynched.
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State yesterday, escaped death by a whisker when a protest against killings by Fulani herdsmen turned violence, acording to New Telegraph.
President Muhammadu Buhari had yesterday commiserated with Ortom and the people of Benue State over the killings.
The protest, which was later hijacked by hoodlums, started about 7a.m. and lasted for over five hours as irate youths made bonfires and blocked the Wurukum roundabout which links the state with both the North and South of the country.
Travellers were stranded in the scorching sun as some drivers had to take their passengers into the bush for cover until the situation became calm.
It took security men several hours to dislodge the protesters who chanted angrily and carried placards bearing inscriptions such as:
“PMB act now or lose our votes in Benue/We are tired of burning our loved ones, Fulani must leave/PMB must come down himself/No going back.”
But hours later, the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Bashir Makama, led his men to dismantle the road blocks and disperse the protesters.
Shortly after, Governor Ortom, in company with top government functionaries and security aides, stormed the area.
It was gathered that the governor was pelted with stones and other objects after he arrived the Wurukum roundabout in Makurdi, the state capital where the aggrieved youths were protesting the killing of their people by the herdsmen.
After booing the governor for his inability to curb the incessant killings by the herdsmen, the youths became violent by attacking the Governor and his convoy.
They also showed off placards asking President Muhammadu Buhari to “act now or resign.”
A protester named Ruth Agba, insisted that herdsmen who were killing Benue farmers and destroying their homes were Boko Haram members.
However, it was gathered that security operatives dispersed the youths by shooting in the air. It was also alleged that a soldier drafted to calm the situation shot dead two persons.
A source who wished not to be mentioned revealed how a soldier killed the protesters saying,
“Soldiers who are supposed to be protecting us from Fulani herdsmen killed two guys during the protest; are soldiers now helping Fulanis? We demand an answer from Buhari.”