Why bandits invaded my home, killed three, by Benue ex-lawmaker
2020 ended on a sour note for Dr. Aondowase Iaana Jato, a former member of the Benue State House of Assembly, when he buried three family members last week, Shiaondo Orje Jato, Mrs Helen Jato, and Kumator Jato, who were killed when bandits attacked Nagu village, Katsina-Ala Local Government Area.
Narrating the incident to The Guardian, Jato said as a Christian, he is pained that they killed his brother’s wife, her son, and another of his brother, but he has forgiven, asking the perpetrators to repent of their sins.
“I feel very sad about the killings and burning down my house and property in my village. As a Christian, I have forgiven them for obvious reason, to allow them to repent of their bad deeds for a change of heart,” he said.
Recalling how it happened, he said: “On that fateful day, December 27, armed militia terrorists invaded my house in the late hours of that Sunday and started shooting sporadically into the air. Some members of my family were able to escape, but three of them were shot dead. Afterward, properties worth millions of naira, including houses, were burnt down.
“I quickly made a formal report to the DPO Katsina-Ala LGA, who went to inspect the scene of the incident himself. My elder brother also invited members of the Nigerian Army that have been keeping peace in the area and they also came and saw what happened. I then took the bodies of the deceased to the mortuary and after due process, they were buried last Saturday.
“When the bandits left, they called me from the phone of the woman they killed and told me that they are sending me to the government to withdraw the security agents that are in Shitileland. That was the message they told me through the phone of the woman they killed. They specifically demanded that members of the Nigerian Army be withdrawn, otherwise, they will continue to terrorise me.
“A similar incident happened on Christmas Eve when armed boys went to the house of Katsina-Ala Local Government chairman, killing three police officers on guard and two civilians.
“I will love that the government sends more troops to the area and the entire north to curb the rising insecurity facing the people. I would like to call on the governor to step up operations to tackle security challenges in my area,” he said.
The ex-lawmaker debunked a media report where it was erroneously reported he was the one killed in the attack.
“I quickly established contact with the office and they apologized to me. It was actually a mix-up; I understand with them,” he said.