Herdsmen’s Fresh Attacks on Benue Communities Claim 10 Lives

Benue State government has cried out that 10 persons were killed on Tuesday night and many others injured in fresh attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen on Logo and Ukum Local Government Areas. Seven persons were killed in Gbeji, in the Ukum Local Government, while three were killed in Channel 1, in the Logo Local Government Area.
The killings are coming two weeks after Nigerian Army withdrew troops from the state.
The attackers were said to have been clad in military fatigues.
Confirming the incident, the Ukum Local Government Area Chairman, Iberlogo Tortyokyaa, called on the Federal Government to protect the citizens.
The Benue State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Owoseni, said, “We can confirm that as of this morning (Wednesday) suspected herdsmen attacked the areas.
“Four dead bodies were recovered. We have stepped up security in the areas and we are investigating.”
The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, described the attacks as an extension of the terrorism perpetrated by Boko Haram.
Speaking on Wednesday in Makurdi, he said the manner the armed men invaded communities of the state and slaughter innocent people was not different from the mindless acts of Boko Haram in the North Eastern part of the country.
“They come with sophisticated weapons, kill people and chase them away.
In some cases, they do not have herds. They just come with their weapons, kill and chase the people out and take over the land and that is the worrisome part of it.
“The trend of attacks on Benue is beyond mere grazing of livestock. If the invaders were only interested in grazing, the massive destruction of lives and property would not have been their priority,” he said.
Those killed in Gbeji were identified as Mtserkyaa lgbugh, Kananfa Amarfu, Tyavyar Akau, Orfega Hiikyaa, Kanyitor Uor and a 75-year-old passerby, whose identity has yet to be ascertained.
Those killed in Tswaregh were identified as Tor Imbor, Aondowua Mnyor and Msugh Ajura.
It was learnt that the herdsmen, who attacked the two local government areas almost simultaneously, also razed houses and destroyed other properties worth millions of naira.
A resident of Gbeji, Abraham Ngyenev, said the attack started at about six pm and lasted for more than three hours.
Another eyewitness, Mathias Azawe, described the attack as devastating as it came when people were planting their crops.
At Logo, two residents, Terkimbir Hemen and Jacob lorkyaa, said the attack began around 7pm.
Hemen said, “The attacks led to thousands of the villagers fleeing to safety, especially women and children.”
The first attack occurred in Gbeji Village in Ukum Local Government Area at about 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, with attackers first opening fire at the playground of a Catholic Church parish where children were playing football before making their way into the village proper, witnesses said.
“They stopped at the church in their Army uniform and shot and killed an old man who was watching football and the children dispersed immediately,” said a Garfa Iorhe, 31, from Gbeji.
Iorhe said he could tentatively confirm seven people were killed in the attack, but repeatedly stated that they expect the number to rise.
“We counted seven bodies when we sneaked into the village this afternoon,” he said. “But we’re still waiting for the police and SEMA (Benue State Emergency Management Agency) workers to arrive and go inside the village very well.”
“We expect that they would recover maybe 25 or 30 bodies or more from the village,” he said.
The second attack claimed three persons in Channel One, a small village about two kilometres from Gbeji. Channel One, traditionally known as Gbwer, is in Logo Local Government

Author: News Editor

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