Herdsmen attack Benue communities, kill 19

… security agents know killer herders – Gov. Ortom

Suspected herdsmen attacked some communities  in the Gwer West Local Government Area  in Benue State, and killed no fewer than 19 people.

A resident, Terna Abende, who escaped the attack told one of our correspondents that the attackers  came through Akpachi in the Otukpo Local Government Area to attack  Tse Amgbem.

Abenda said, “At  about 5am  today (Monday), the attackers  stormed the Tse Amgbem and Udam near Aondoana community and  killed several people and several others were injured.

“The attackers who are suspected to be herdsmen also burnt down  houses.”

It was reliably gathered that the suspected herdsmen  had earlier on Sunday  ambushed some motorcyclists at separate areas on  Naka  Nagi Agagbe and Naka/Makurdi  roads killing six  persons.

An indigene of the Gwer West Local Government Area, who identified himself as Albert, said that  herdsmen had taken over seven council wards of the council:  Sengev, Gaagev/Tongev, Saghev/Ukusu, Tough, Ateer/ Ijaha, Gaambe Ushin and Mbachohon Avihijme.

Confirming the attacks, the Chairman of the Gwer West Local Government Area, Mrs Grace Igbabon, told one of  our correspondents on the phone that 19 people were killed in three separate attacks in the council area between Sunday and Monday.

According to her, “We had about six persons yesterday (Sunday) and 13 people today.

“I was told that the attackers were suspected herdsmen who attacked the Mbamodu community and killed 13 people and several others injured. The attackers burnt down several houses in the community.

“The other incidents happened on Sunday at other side of Mbachon, some motorcyclists were riding on the road and they saw a man in military uniform who stopped them.

“I was told that in the process of slowing down, another set of people who possibly had laid ambush came out from the bush and shot severally at them, four  of them died and one later escaped.

“Also along Naka/Makurdi road on Sunday, they (suspected herdsmen)  killed two others.”

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer of Benue State Command,  Catherine Anene, said she only had report of the attack on some communities near Aondoana, but had no details

Recall that last week, bandits attacked the Abegana area of the state and killed seven people.

The  President General of Mzough U Tiv (MUT), Worldwide, and Chairman of the three main socio-cultural organisations in the state, Iorbee Ihagh, expressed disgust over the continuous killing of innocent people in the state and across the country, stating that the country was drifting to disintegration.

He said the manner killing of innocent people in Benue and across the country continued showed that there was no government in place.

Ihagh stated, “The way things are going in the country today, show that we don’t have government in place, or how do you imagine that there is no day we don’t have record of 20, 30 or 40 people being killed across the country.

“It is high time we stopped all these things, if not Nigeria will break or there will be no election in 2023.”

Reacting to the killing in Benue State, the Middle Belt Forum  called on the people of the state to heed the advice given by a former Minister of Defence, ,Gen Theophilus   Danjuma, if they wanted to stop the killings in their domain.

The National Publicity Secretary of the Middle Belt Forum, Dr Isuwa Dogo made the call  in an interview with one of  our correspondent in Jos on Monday.

Recall that Danjuma had in March 2018, urged Nigerians to defend themselves against killers in the country.

The Middle Belt Spokesman who condemned the fresh killings in Benue communities pointed out that he believed that the attacks on the people had continued because the citizens had yet to  act on Danjuma’s advice.

The state Governor, Samuel Ortom,  condemned in strong terms the killing in the state on Monday.

Speaking through his Chief Press Secretary, Terver Akase, the governor said that several people were still missing from the attack.

He said the state government knew that the killers were  herdsmen and called on security agents to fish out the Killers.

He stated, “The governor is not happy with the killing.  We know the killers are herdsmen and we wonder  that the sponsors of killings in the state  are there in Abuja and are allowed to walk freely. Security agents know them and they should be apprehended.”

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