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Fresh attacks kill 13 in Benue, Plateau

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No fewer than nine persons were yesterday feared killed in morning attacks by militias on Mbamena and Jootar communities in Ukum Local Council of Benue State.

In the assault on Jootar, a settlement bordering Benue and Taraba states, three persons were eliminated by suspected Jukun militias while the one at Mbamena that led to the death of six was reportedly perpetrated by militias from Tongov area who were allegedly on a revenge mission.

The council caretaker chairman, Tortyokaa Ibellogo, who confirmed the incidents, wondered why “the Jukun militia will cross over to Benue where there is no crisis”, insisting that Tiv farmers in the state were not at war with their neigbours

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He went on: “To the best of my knowledge, this is supposed to be a crisis between the Tiv and Jukun in Taraba State, and has nothing to do with Benue. In my state, we have Jukun in Abintse and Wurukum in Guma and Makurdi living peacefully with the Tiv people

“I want to call on the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Chief of Army Staff and the President of Nigeria to, as a matter of urgency, intervene in this crisis.”

Also the police public relations officer (PPRO) for the state command, DSP Anene Sewuese, stated that three unidentified corpses had been recovered while two officers were missing in Jootar.
She added that the investigation was ongoing.

In a similar vein, rampaging gunmen yesterday felled four lives, injured six others and burnt several homes in Bassa council area of Plateau State.

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According to a source in Gbra-Zongo village where the event happened, the assailants, numbering about 20, invaded the settlement in the early hours of the day, shooting sporadically into the air.

Addressing journalists, chairman of Miango Youth Development Association, Nuhu Nkali, noted that the mode of the attack was similar to the previous ones in Irigwe chiefdom, adding that it was carried out without any resistance.

He said: “In this attack, four persons were killed, including a clergyman and a 10-year-old boy. The violence started at about 9:56pm (on Tuesday) till the early hours of Wednesday. The gunmen had a field day because there were no security personnel on ground to repel them. The security agents in the community were withdrawn about one month ago after two of their men were killed.”

The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in the state, ASP Ubah Gabriel Obaga, who equally confirmed the death of the quartet, added that CP Isaac Akinmoyede had deployed more officers under the supervision of ACP (Operations) to restore sanity in the area.

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Meanwhile, the military high command has faulted the claim by President Idriss Deby of Chad Republic that officers of the Nigerian Army mobilised to contain insurgency in the Lake Chad region were defaulting, thus allegedly forcing Chadian troops to operate within Nigerian territory.

Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, made the denial yesterday in Abuja, adding that the Nigerian soldiers had maintained a good working relationship with their Chadian counterparts.

Besides, the military has deployed 80 personnel to the various isolation centres to check the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic nationwide.

The spokesman, who also made the disclosure yesterday in Abuja, added that the army had provided three additional facilities for the treatment of patients, making 21 of such centres.

The new ones are the Nigerian Navy Hospital Warri; the Nigerian Navy Medical Centre, Borokiri, Port Harcourt; and the Nigerian Navy Logistics School Medical Centre, Owerrinta.

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