.Recalls deceased breadwinner’s battle with assailants
Friday, April 1, 2022, is etched in the memories of Rose Orguga Saka. It was the day the husband of the 26 years old native of Antsar village, Kwararra District of Keana Local Government Area, Nasarawa State was gruesomely murdered by marauding herdsmen.
The day had begun like all others, and Rose’s 28-year-old husband, Stephen Begher Saka, a farmer, joined his children to take the breakfast that Rose had prepared for them before the couple left for the farm to harvest locust beans, leaving their children at home.
Our correspondent gathered that after harvesting the locust beans, they decided to head to a nearby stream to catch some fish. It was gathered that Saka had removed his bag containing his traditional powers and gave it to his wife while he entered the stream to hunt for fish.
Saka, reputed in the area as a very strong man, had been a strong defender of the Tiv farmers in the area against herdsmen invasion and he had consequently become a target of the herdsmen for a long time.
So while he was in the stream trying to catch some fish, heavily armed herdsmen numbering about 13 and were believed to have been trailing him from his farm, appeared from different directions, surrounded the stream and asked him to say his last prayers.
Saka, it was learnt, quickly turned to his wife and asked her to throw to him the bag apparently containing his charms, but it was too late as the herdsmen immediately opened fire on him.
“They must have directed more than 70 gunshots at him but none of the bullets penetrated his body, so they decided to use their sharp knife to slaughter him like a goat. That was when they were able to kill him.
“But none of them touched me. I watched the entire episode live as they struggled to kill my husband. They butchered him like a cow after they had succeeded in killing him,” Rose said.
Giving further details about the battle that ensued between her deceased husband and his assailants, she said: “I watched helplessly as the herdsmen used a machete to inflict a deep cut on his forehead after bullets had failed them even with their AK47 guns. He lost consciousness and later gave up the ghost.
Asked how she became the late Saka’s wife, she said: “I married Saka many years ago, and until his death on April 1, he was a farmer, a hunter as well as a defender of his community against herdsmen invasion.
“We had seven children, five boys and two girls. We ate breakfast together on that fateful day before we left for the farm to harvest locust beans. Little did I know that it would be our last day together.