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Again, herders murder 11 persons in Benue, Nasarawa

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Benue State Governor Samuel Ortom

• Attacks extension of terrorism, says Ortom
Herdsmen Tuesday night invaded Gbeji and Tswarev communities in Ukum and Logo council areas of Benue State, killing no fewer than 10 persons.

The names of those killed, according to community sources, include Mtserkyaa lgbugh; Kananfa Amarfu; Tyavyar Akau; Orfega Hiikyaa; Kanyitor Uor; a suspected unidentified septuagenarian among others.

An eyewitness told The Guardian that several houses were torched and property worth millions of naira destroyed.

According two residents of Gbeji, Abraham Ngyenev and Abraham Azawe, the attack began at about 6p.m. when the herdsmen invaded their farms and destroyed crops for over three hours.

Similarly, three other persons were reportedly attacked and killed by nomads in some settlements in Tswarev, Logo Local Council, while injuring scores. The two council areas border each other.

In Logo, the affected communities were Channel One, Orveren and Ajura villages where Tor Imbor; Aondowua Mnyor and Msugh Ajura were feared dead in addition to several injuries and burning of houses by the assailants.

Information from the invaded settlements also revealed that the attacks lasted for more than three hours without hindrance. A development, they said, forced hundreds of the villagers to flee the areas.

The Chairman of Logo Council, Richard Nyajo, while confirming the development, appealed to security agents to do more in safeguarding lives and property in the area.

His counterpart at Ukum, Iberlogo Tortyokyaa, who also confirmed the incidents in his domain, lamented the wanton killing of innocent people in the area. He called on the Federal Government to be alive to its responsibility of protecting lives and property.

The State Commissioner of Police, Fatai Awoseni, who corroborated the council bosses, however, noted that four corpses had been recovered.

Maintaining that the incidents were a brainchild of suspected herdsmen, Awoseni added that security had been beefed up in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom has described the attacks as an extension of the terrorism perpetrated by Boko Haram.

He spoke yesterday in Makurdi while reacting to the renewed mayhem in parts of the state.

The governor stated that the manner in which the armed men invade the communities and slaughter innocent people was not different from the “mindless acts” of Boko Haram in the North East.

He said: “They come with sophisticated weapons and kill people. Machete and chase them away.”

Ortom said equally disturbing was the pattern of attacks whereby the armed militias occupy communities after killing and sacking the inhabitants.

He went on: “In some cases, they do not have the 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 governor also condemned the recent attacks on Gwer West council area where several lives were lost and property worth millions destroyed.

Ortom said the trend in Benue was beyond mere grazing of livestock, arguing that if the invaders were only interested in grazing, the massive destruction of lives and property would not have been their priority.

He called for better presence of security personnel in parts of the state, especially the flashpoints, to avoid further loss of lives and the worsening humanitarian crisis with over 170,000 internally displaced persons in various camps across the state.

In Nasarawa, a woman was feared dead and many missing following an attack on Kadarko market in the early hours of yesterday.

An eyewitness, Agyer James, said the suspected herders invaded the popular Kadarko Market at about 9:00a.m., shooting sporadically.

He said: “The attack started at 8:30p.m. the previous night when we started hearing gunshot around the Kadarko primary school where IDPs are being camped.”
He said the victim, Miss Susan Jonathan, was gunned down by the marauding herdsmen inside the market.

The police public relations officer (PPRO), ACP Kennedy Idrisu, who confirmed the killing, said the command had deployed more personnel to the area.

Also reacting, the president of the Tiv Youth Association, Comrade Peter Ahembe, warned that they could be compelled to defend themselves if the carnage persists.


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