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Benue monarch weeps over killing of 2 children, 37 others by herdsmen

Suspected herdsmen have been terrorising communities in Benue State killing over 300 people in the last three weeks alone.

Benue monarch weeps over killing of 2 children by suspected herdsmen.

The deceased were killed by suspected herdsmen during an attack on the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the community on Good Friday, April 7, 2023.

The bereaved monarch, who confirmed the attack, said 38 other victims of the incident sustained severe injuries but have been taken to the Benue State University Hospital in Makurdi for medical attention.

Chief Shawa disclosed these when addressing the Benue government delegation led by Governor Samuel Ortom and his Deputy, Benson Abonu, who paid a condolence visit to the community and also conducted an on-the-spot assessment of the incident.

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Amid wailing and sobering from families in the community, the traditional ruler narrated how the killer herdsmen stormed the community between 9am and 10pm on Friday.

I was sitting outside with my children when we started hearing gunshots from across the road.

“We started running but two of my children, a boy and a girl did not make it they were gunned down by the Fulani people.

“And because we have a point checkpoint on the road, displaced persons normally take shelter at the LGEA Primary School, they opened fire on the IDPs and people in the community, shooting and killing our people as they spoke the language.

“And before today they also attacked our community on February 25, 2023. On that day they killed 12 people,” said Chief Shawa.

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The monarch also commended Governor Ortom for deeming it fit to visit the community and sympathise with the people over the incident.

In his reaction, Ortom described the attack as sad and unfortunate, regretting the violation of the state's law prohibiting open grazing by Fulani groups.

While acknowledging the condolence message of President Muhammadu Buhari over the killings, the governor said the President must follow it up with a marching order to security agencies to fish out those responsible for the attack and bring them to book.

Ortom's words: “Condolence messages cannot be enough, the President must issue marching orders to security agencies to fish out these terrorist groups and bring them to justice.”

“Anything that needs to be done must be done because our people have suffered for too long. How can you explain that people you chased from their ancestral homes decided to take refuge in a camp in a primary school and you did this to them? How do you explain the deaths and pains, this is not right. The people doing this must be punished according to the laws of the land.”

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Pulse reports that no fewer than 400 persons have been killed in different parts of Benue State in the last three weeks following unabated attacks by suspected herdsmen who raided communities and IDPs camps.

The worst hit in the renewed attacks are communities in the Benue South District, the home of the Idoma-speaking people of the state.

Sources in those communities said 250 deaths have been recorded in Apa Local Government Area (LGA) alone while no fewer than 75 persons lost their lives in Otukpo LGA within this period.

The latest incident recorded on Friday, April 7, 2023, saw the marauders attack an IDPs camp located in the Mgbam community, close to Udei in Guma LGA, where over 40 persons were gruesomely murdered including a pregnant woman and children under one year.

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