Residents of six communities in two local government areas of Benue State began the New Year on a sad note when about 50 persons were cruelly murdered in cold blood by arms-carrying herdsmen.

Casualties included women, children and some members of the Live Stock Guards who were assigned to enforce the anti-open grazing law and many people were seriously injured.

Bounce News looks at five shocking events attributed to herders in Nigeria.

1) Olu Falaye’s Abduction

No one saw it coming but it happened anyway.

Former Minister of Finance, Oluyemisi Falae, simply known as Olu Falae, was kidnapped by seven herdsmen from his farm in Ondo State on September, 21, 2015. His abductors demanded for 100 million Naira as ransom.

The elder statesman was released three days later. He claimed he was tortured.

The seven suspected abductors were later apprehended, tried and sentenced to life imprisonment.

2) Gang rape of 72-year-old woman in Ondo

A grandmother, Victoria Akinseye, was raped in August 2017 by two herdsmen while working on her farm in Ore, Odigbo council area of Ondo State.

Narrating the incident to reporters, the 72-year-old said: "I was working on my farm when two men attacked me from behind, held my neck such that I couldn’t ask for help. They tore my clothes and took turns to rape me".

She said a fellow farmer saw her where the herdsmen had abandoned her after the rape and took her home.

3) Attack on Adamawa community - Death toll 30

On November 20, 2017, Farmers from the Bachama ethnic group in Adamawa State reportedly stormed four settlements of Fulani herders in Numan district hacking residents and burning houses. The incident was claimed to be a reprisal attack.
Media reports put the death toll at between 30 and 50.

4) Herdsmen kill 50 in Benue attack

The Benue State attacks began on January 1, 2018 and are still ongoing. The government placed the official figure of fatalities at 73, but various reports estimated that actual figure may be over a hundred.

The severity of the attack had prompted President Muhammadu Buhari to order the relocation of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to Benue.

5) Attack of Lau LGA, Taraba - Death Toll 55

The dust of the Benue attacks was yet to settle when news broke that some herders raided and killed about 55 villagers in Lau Local Government Area of Taraba State.

The invasion reportedly began on January 6, 2018, with bodies of 25 victims so far recovered and given a mass burial.

How many more lives will have to be cut short before gruesome attacks are nipped in the bud?