Barely a month after the general elections, unprovoked killings have continued as rampaging armed herders terrorise Benue communities.
The killings which were halted during the electoral campaigns and elections have resumed in full force as hardly would any day goes by in the last week without an invasion, attacks and killings of indigenes of Benue.
Ironically the killings in Benue community seem to have very strong backing as the federal government has refused to take appropriate steps to put an end to this genocide.
No doubt these killings have continued unabated because there is a seeming lack of vigilance on the part of security forces. Even though the buck stops at the table of the security agents and Chief security officers, the lack of political will to put an end to this ethnic cleansing is nauseating.
On Tuesday afternoon three persons were killed in Umogidi village in Enetekpa Adoka district of Otukpo Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state by suspected armed herdsmen.
The attack on Umogidi community came less than 24 hours after a monarch and his subjects were also murdered by the marauders in Ugbobi village in Apa LGA in what looked like coordinated attacks on Benue South District in the last two months.
Ipledge2nigeria.net learned that the marauders stormed the village from neighbouring Apa LGA with their cattle, armed with AK47 riffles.
Shooting at anyone who tries to stop them from grazing on people’s farmland.
The victims were the young men they met while marching into the villages and destroying people’s farms and barns.
Confirming the attack, the Chairman of Otukpo LGA, Mr Bako Eje who hails from that part of the Local Government lamented that the invaders had in the last months ceaselessly attacked that part of the state.
He said, “Armed herdsmen attacked our people and killed three persons in Enetekpa ward of Adoka District in Otukpo LGA.
“For over a month now, they have been terrorising our people in that axis, from Igili to Umuogidi across to Enetekpa ward.
“The attackers came in from Apa LGA through Agatu LGA. They have been terrorising our people. They graze their cows in our area, eat up our cassava, our grains and yams and the ones they could not eat, they just set them on fire.
“Most of our people have deserted their homes and are now camping at a Primary School in Adoka, these are particularly Igili and Umuogidi people.
It is commonplace in Benue State to find traditional leaders as alarm over the killings in their communities.
Last month, the Chairman of Apa Traditional Council in Apa Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state and Odejo K’ Apa, Chief John Antenyi raised the alarm over the killing of many of his subjects and sacking of several communities in his domain by suspected armed herdsmen.
The invaders were reported to have also invaded neighbouring Agatu LGA where several persons were killed and many others sustained serious injuries in over three weeks of sustained attacks.
Also last week, the Paramount ruler of the Idoma tribe and Chairman of Idoma Traditional Council of Benue state, Ochi’Idoma Dr John
Odogbo Elaigwu raised the alarm over the murder of a traditional ruler and over 75 others in his domain by suspected armed herders.
The traditional ruler of Ugbobi community in Apa Local Government Area, LGA, of the state was killed on Monday alongside several others in a renewed attack on the community by the marauders.
Condemning the recent attacks in his domain, the Ochi’Idoma decried what he termed the lack of vigilance on the part of security personnel to stem the brutal murder of his subjects and sacking of communities in Benue South Senatorial District by armed herders.
There have been a series of coordinated hostilities and violent attacks within the farming communities of Benue South, especially but not limited to Apa/Agatu corridor.
“The assailants are suspected herdsmen and cattle rearers who visit farms with hundreds of cows, destroying crops, and livelihoods, maiming, raping, and killing innocent citizens forcing many to leave their ancestral homestead.
Ipledge2nigeria gathered that these recent attacks have claimed not less than 75 lives and displaced thousands from their homes and businesses, unfortunately, brutally claimed the life of the Chief of Igbobi in Apa LGA on, April 3, 2023.
Suspected armed men in the early hours of Sunday, April 2 reportedly invaded the Christians Pentecostal Church located at Akenawe, Tswarev in Ukemberagya/Tswarev Council Ward of Logo Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue State where they killed a worshipper and abducted the pastor of the church and other worshippers.
The attackers also injured several of the victims among them the traditional ruler of the community, Zaki Tyokase Ingyutu.
The invaders stormed the church during a night vigil when a healing service was being conducted by the Resident Pastor, Rev. Gwadue Kwaghtyo
One person was killed during the attack, five others sustained injuries while four worshippers including the Resident Pastor, Rev. Gwadue Kwaghtyo were captured and taken to an unknown destination.
Among those that sustained severe injuries was the Acting Kindred Head of Akemkpa, Zaki Tyokase Ingyutu who was wounded on the head. They are currently receiving treatment at different hospitals in Ugba and Anyii.
Also about a month ago, the youth leader and four others were killed by suspected armed herdsmen who invaded and attacked two communities in Agatu and Otukpo Local Government Areas, LGAs, of Benue state.
In all of these attack one question that keeps begging for answer is how can a group of people have access to sophisticated weapons, and have the liberty to transverse the length and breadth of this country either undetected or unhindered?
It is high time, the government at all levels rise to its basic responsibility of protecting the lives and property of every Nigerian, barring preferential treatment for any particular group.
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