How herdsmen killed my uncle like a chicken – Airtel director

The Director of Regulatory Affairs at Airtel, Terris Damsa, has bemoaned the onslaught by killer herdsmen on communities in Benue, following the recent killing of his uncle and others in the state.

Damsa, who spoke to our correspondent, lamented that his uncle, Amile Tsukwa, aka Newswatch, was gruesomely murdered on his farm.

He said the victim was attacked by three suspected herders, who invaded his farm. The herdsmen reportedly slit his throat.

He noted that the death of his uncle in the hands of the killer herders had left members of his family in despair.

The distraught nephew stressed that his uncle, Tsukwa was the 16th of his kinsmen to be so brutally killed by the Fulani herdsmen in three months, adding that the victim was “slaughtered like a chicken.”

Damsa said amidst tears, “My uncle, Amile Tsukwa, aka Newswatch, as we fondly called him, was killed by Fulani herdsmen on his farm. He was such a gentle man, nice and very hard working.

“He was on his ancestral land, on his farm, trying to make out a living, to contribute in his little way to the food security of the nation. His wife is now a widow and his children are fatherless. This is the 16th kinsman of mine to be so brutally murdered since January 2018.

“Our kinsmen are killed daily on their farms. We are peasant farmers in Benue State. The rains are beginning to fall. But when we go to the farms, we are slaughtered.

“Newswatch (Tsukwa) was killed in cold blood; his throat was slit. He was killed like a chicken. He committed no crime. This is how thousands of our people are killed every now and then.”

Damsa further decried the Federal Government’s disposition in addressing the issue, adding that the “onslaught is being handled with kid gloves.”

He argued that the herders were being protected and celebrated against the safety of the people.

He said, “The villains, rather than the victims, are the ones being protected and celebrated. There is loud silence at the top level of governance and political leadership.

“And people expect us to keep quiet in the face of the unabated killings, injustice, genocide and ethnic cleansing? We are being murdered daily but they expect us to keep quiet and not even cry? This is ridiculous.”

When asked if the police had been informed, Damsa said, “On several accounts we have reported the killings, yet no concrete effort to stop it.”

Also speaking, the deceased’s immediate younger brother, Peter Tsukwa, who recounted how the victim was killed, said, “He told me he was going to the farm that morning as usual, and I said he should be very careful because of the attacks. It was later that afternoon, around 1:00 pm, that report reached us that he had been killed by some young Fulani herdsmen, about three of them. We rushed to the farm and we found him dead. His throat was slit.”

When contacted, the deceased’s wife, Margaret Tsukwa, declined to speak with our correspondent, as she was emotionally distressed.