Zaki-Biam attack death toll rises to 50
President orders arrest of perpetrators
President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned last Monday’s “wicked attack” on a market in Zaki-Biam, Benue State, by unknown gunmen resulting in loss of several lives in the area.
Buhari, who commiserated with the government and people of the state over the incident, yesterday directed security agencies to immediately begin investigation with a view to bringing the perpetrators of the dastardly act to book.
While sympathising with those who lost loved ones, the President also prayed that Almighty God should comfort the grieving families and grant the souls of the victims eternal rest.
In a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina yesterday, Buhari also condemned the wanton killings in other parts of the country and challenged security and law enforcement agencies to rise to the occasion and put an end to the development he described as a blight on the image of the country.
“We must condemn inhuman and unnecessary shedding of human blood all over the country. We seem to have lost value for human life, which is sacred. “Man is the glory of God’s creation and nobody has the right to unjustly and unlawfully take another person’s life in a reckless manner,” President Buhari said.
He, therefore, enjoined all citizens to learn to live together in peace and brotherhood and not allow little misunderstandings to degenerate into heartless acts capable of straining the bonds of nationhood.
Meanwhile, death toll from yesterday’s attack on Zaki-Biam International Yam Market in Ukum Local Council of Benue State has hit over 50 persons.When The Guardian visited the area yesterday in company of Governor Samuel Ortom, more dead bodies, including students of Amensi Secondary School, were also found.
The locals, who pleaded anonymity, said several persons are still missing. They said that the gunmen, including a woman, came into the area numbering over 30 armed with sophisticated weapons in a Pick Up van, a Toyota Corolla car and a big motorcycle firing randomly and sporadically into the air to scare away the people.
But a security personnel, who pleaded anonymity, said there was security report earlier that the gunmen will attack and so, the Divisional Police Office (DPO) deployed his men to banks, hotels, schools and other institutions to safeguard them.
“We were dispatched as early as 8:00 a.m. and the gunmen attacked by 3:00 pm. They numbered over 30 and abducted so many people,” he said.Meanwhile, Ortom, who visited the injured persons in the hospitals, appealed to the people to remain calm, assuring that security agencies would be deployed to the area to restore peace and the culprits would be arrested and brought to book.