News

Benue Massacre: Killers emboldened by highly placed individuals – Ortom …family of 6 wiped out

By Sunday Iduh and Matthew Ajai-Kume

Angered by the brutal murder of some homeless persons, including a family of six, by armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen militia, governor Samuel Ortom said that the armed murderers were emboldened by the reckless statement of some individuals to believe that Benue land belong to them so they can kill the people in order to take over the lands.

Reacting to the recent massacre in Abagena, Governor Ortom while condemning the barbaric act underscored the resolve of the government and people of the state not to surrender an inch of Benue land.

In a statement issued by the governor’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Terver Akase, he said “Governor Ortom stresses that the current attacks are fueled by reckless comments of some highly placed individuals whose support has emboldened the armed herders to visit mayhem of greater proportions on the people of the state, believing that they have influential personalities backing them.

“The Governor says Fulani pastoralists have been made to believe that Benue and all other lands in the country belong to them, a fallacy that has prompted the herders and their sponsors to recruit fighters from Niger, Mali, Chad and other countries to go on a violent rampage, in a bid to conquer the country.

“The Governor recalls how some individuals who should be seen as nationalists have made statements in the recent past implying that the people of Benue will only know peace when Fulani herdsmen are integrated into Benue communities and their cattle allowed to freely graze. He attributes the ongoing attacks on innocent people of the state to the inciting utterances of the said individuals.

“Governor Ortom states that Nigeria belongs to all its citizens who hold equal stakes in the country and no group of persons has the right to deprive others of their freedom to live”

The governor while condemning the Abagena killings, reaffirms the resolve of the government and people of the state never to surrender its lands to anyone, no matter the attacks.

He reminds those who have vowed to destabilize Benue and have their way that the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law is still in full force, and said “anyone who wants to rear animals in the state must be prepared to do so within ranches, as stipulated by the law”

Governor Ortom sympathizes with families of victims of the Abagena attack and reassures the displaced persons living in the camps that his administration has taken measures to guarantee their safety in collaboration with security agencies.

How gunmen killed family of 6 in IDPs Camp

Gunmen suspected to be fulani bandits have attacked the Abagana community situated at opposite the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camp in Makurdi, Benue State, killing an entire family of six persons.

The armed men also eliminated two other members of the community, even as scores were injured.

Abagana is a sprawling community in Makurdi, located along the busy Makurdi-Abuja road.

Thousands of persons displaced from their ancestral homes are taking refuge in the IDP camp which is set up by the State Government.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Governor, Nathaniel Ikyur in a statement on Friday said “the bandits who did not even come with herds of cattle were armed to the teeth killed several other persons in sight leaving trails of blood.

“So far, eight corpses including women and children have been recovered while several others seriously injured were evacuated to hospital for treatment.

“Some of the bodies were beheaded and their heads taken away by the bandits.

“Special Adviser on Security Matters to the Benue State Governor, Lt. Col Paul Hemba, rtd who confirmed this said security personnel and other villagers have been  combing the bushes for more victims who were said to have been shot by the invaders.

“He said the attack was unprovoked as the villagers were already set to go to bed when they met their untimely deaths in the hands of the Fulani bandits.

“According to the Security Adviser, the casualty figure may likely rise as some other persons who were fatally shot and wounded may not survive the injuries in their chest.

“The Security Adviser gave the names of those killed as Gbashaor Acho, Gbashaor Joseph, Anshe Dekera, Ancho Kpor, Eunice Gbashaor, Sewuese Gbashaor, Terlumun Ajoh, Emberga Gbashaor and Donald Gbashaor.

“He further disclosed that two of those killed were IDPs while the bandits stole two motorcycles belonging to the villagers.”

Uba condemns attack

People’s Democratic Party PDP Candidate for 2023 General Election in Benue State, Titus Uba has condemned in strong terms the renewed attack on the Abagena Community in Makurdi, Local Government Area by suspected armed Fulani herdsmen.

Uba who is also the Speaker, Benue State House of Assembly, described the attack as barbaric and inhuman while he called on the Federal Government to do the needful by curtailing the incessant attacks and killing of innocent citizens in Benue State.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker, Benue State WueseOrshi  said ” People’s Democratic Party governorship candidate and Speaker of the State Assembly, Rt Hon Titus Uba condemns Thursday attack on Abagena community by suspected armed herders which claimed atleast 9 lives and left several others injured and displaced from their homes.”

It stated that “. Rt. Hon. Uba describes the persistent onslaught by bandits and armed herders on Benue communities as barbaric and inhuman and calls on the federal government to as matter of urgency, find a lasting solution to the problem of insecurity in the country.

The Speaker expressed his regrets that despite sustained efforts by the Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom to secure the State, armed bandits have continued to launch systematic attacks on individuals and communities while called on security operatives to intensify surveillance in the areas prone to attacks.

According to the statement, Rt. Hon. Uba  expressed  his profound sympathy to families of the victims and  promised  to continue to support every lawful move by Governor Samuel Ortom in permanently ending the senseless killings of innocent people of the State.

 

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Most Popular

To Top