Herdsmen Killings: 42 Killed In Fresh Benue Attacks, 37 In Nasarawa
Makurdi / Lafia – About forty-two persons have reportedly lost their lives to another Fulani herdsmen attack that took place in the state early Wednesday.
Thirty-four of the victims were killed by the herdsmen in Guma Local Government Area (LGA) of the state while eight of them were killed in another attack at Abiem, Naka LGA of the state.
Also, gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen unleashed terror on Tiv farmers at Ihuman village in Awe Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, killing seven at a spot.
The gunmen, armed with sophisticated weapons, were said to have launched the attack about 5pm on Tuesday, shooting sporadically at the helpless villagers who had sneaked to their deserted village to pick foodstuff.
DAILY INDEPENDENT gathered that the victims, who had been taking refuge at Kange town in Awe Local Government Area as a result of their earlier displacement in the serial attacks on Tiv communities in the southern part of the state, had gone for some food items in their homes when the attackers emerged from a nearby bush and opened fire on them.
A resident of the area, Philip Dodo, who narrowly escaped from the attack, told DAILY INDEPENDENT that three of his relations were still missing after the incident.
Comrade Peter Ahemba, President, Tiv Youth Organisation in Nasarawa State, confirmed the incident in a telephone interview with our correspondent on Wednesday.
The Tiv youth leader, who spoke in an emotion-laden voice, said: “For us, the indigenous Tiv people of Nasarawa State, we have no other place to run to, and that is why we continuously count on our governor, Umaru Tanko Al-Makura, for a solution to this unfortunate development.”
Ahemba restated his call on the Tiv youths in the state not to take the law into their own hands as the state government was working to end the killings.
When contacted, Police Public Relations Officer of the Nasarawa State command, DSP John Kennedy, said he had not been briefed about the attack.
Similarly, death toll rose to 30 on Wednesday in the communal clash that has engulfed Bassa and Egbira community in Toto Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
Duniya Moreh, Public Relations Officer of the Bassa Cultural and Development Union in Nasarawa State, disclosed this in a statement issued to journalists in Lafia, the state capital, on Wednesday.
According to him, “No less than 30 Bassa persons have been murdered with many still missing and unaccounted for.
“This figure includes women and children who, it is universally accepted, should be spared and unharmed in a situation of crisis.
“It is disheartening that over 50,000 Bassa persons currently displaced and living in the surrounding local government areas of the state are still in the bushes, finding their way out of the local government area.”
He gave a graphic picture of the crisis, which he traced to inter-communal clash that took place in Kogi State.
“True to their threats, the Egbira, on Sunday, April 22, 2018, kidnapped two Bassa brothers from the same parents who are residing in Umaisha town.
“The boys – Ephraim Moses Gunu and Manaseh Moses Gunu – have not been found till date and are presumed to have been murdered,” he said.
However, investigation revealed that the crisis that has engulfed the local government area was said to have started with an attack on Sebu village about 10:30pm on Monday, April 23, 2018.
It was also learnt that unidentified gunmen attacked Bassa village about 5:30am Monday and subsequently went on to kill many villagers during the attack.
It was gathered other villages that had been attacked include Daji, Shekaruku, Kokoto, Kuwa, Kovo and Kolo.
They, however, commended the effort of Governor Umaru Tanko Al-Makura for his prompt response in sending in security forces to halt the attacks.
A former Nigeria Ambassador to Poland, Samuel Wodi Jimba, has called on both the National and State Emergency Management Agencies to immediately open up Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the local government area, deploy relief materials to the victims of the clash who are now scattered in various parts of the state and the Federal Capital Territory.
In the same vein, he called for a total cessation of the clashes and a return to dialogue which, he said, was the best path to lasting peace in Toto Local Government Area.
He urged that security presence be maintained until all issues pertaining the clashes were investigated and resolved.
The age-long communal clash between the Bassa and Egbira of Nasarawa State has seen houses in several communities razed.
It was reliably gathered that the recent clash between the Bassa and Egbira people may have been ignited by the recent crisis in Kogi State.
The source stated that after the incident in Kogi, the Egbira attacked a town called Kpanke, pointing out that the military issued a statement to that effect.
Meanwhile, DAILY INDEPENDENT has learnt that those that lost their lives during the Monday attacks at Mbalom, Gwer West LGA of Benue State were children under age 17.
The bodies of the dead were brought into Makurdi town on Wednesday and deposited at the morgue.
But in the attack that took place on Tuesday/Wednesday morning in Guma LGA of Benue State, thirty-four persons were killed by herdsmen.
The other eight who were killed in Gwer West LGA of the state were executed by their captors in the morning of Wednesday.
The herdsmen, we gathered, attacked a group of locals about 4pm at Abiem, Senghev council ward of the LGA.
The victims who were earlier abducted by the herdsmen were subsequently executed on Wednesday morning.
The victims had gone back to see if it was safe enough to return home when they were abducted and then summarily executed.
On Wednesday, the herdsmen used the phone of each of the victims who were allowed to speak to their relations before they were executed.
The incident has sent a chill down the spine of family members of the victims.