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In Benue Herdsmen kill 24 residents in 3 days

The renewed attacks took place between April 2 and April 4 in several communities.

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Suspected herdsmen kill Benue village head on farmland play

An armed herdsman (illustration)

(Freedom Online )

Attacks carried out by suspected herdsmen in several communities in Benue State has led to the death of at least 24 people in three days according to members of the House of Representatives from the state.

Four members of the House: Dickson Takighir; Mark Terseer-Gbillah; Samuel Udende; and John Dyegh raised alarm over the fresh attacks while speaking for the Benue Caucus at the National Assembly on Thursday, April 5, 2018.

According to Takighir, the renewed attacks took place between April 2 and April 4 in communities such as Semaka, Udei and Umenger, with several people reported missing.

He also warned that the attackers are camped in Nzorov and ready to attack Guma Local Government Area.

Takighir said, "These latest attacks have occurred in Ikyon and Agasha on April 3 and April 4; in Semaka, Asom, Babanruwa on April 3 and in Udei and Umenger on April 2.

"They (killer herdsmen) are right now stationed at Nzorov council ward, ready to attack Gbajimba in the Guma Local Government Area. There are others in Nasarawa, ready to attack Udei and Daudu with over 14 people killed in the last four days.

"Similarly, Sengev, Mbakyondo and Mbapa areas of Gwer-West Local Government Area are currently under siege by armed herdsmen.

"In Tsegaase, two people have been killed; one person is missing in Zwatema, two killed in Tse Adeke, one killed in Tse Adudu with one missing in Tsekelefu.

"So far, we have yet to confirm the casualty level in Enger. On April 3, four people were killed in Anyebe and one person at Mbavihi both in Tonbo ward of Logo local government."

Takighir further called on the Federal Government deploy a proper military operation in the state and brand the herdsmen as terrorists in a bid to definitively put an end to the crisis.

He said, "We are calling on the Federal Government to immediately explain to Benue indigenes and the Nigerian people why the Operation Cat Race has already been terminated in Benue without a resolution of the issue.

"We also demand that the government should deploy a proper military operation in Benue State and to also station military units in restive communities in Benue until the herdsmen menace has been dealt with.

"We urge the Federal Government to immediately declare these deadly herdsmen as terrorists in view of their inhuman, volatile and destructive activities. The international community should pay more attention to this ongoing pogrom of Benue people; we appeal for their intervention in the provision of aid to the over 190,000 internally displaced persons at different camps in Benue State.

"We believe it is only when these criminal and vicious elements are properly designated and treated as terrorists that the spate of killings will be put to rest."

Benue's herdsmen crisis

Benue has been troubled by violent killings this year as a spate of attacks by suspected cattle herders have led to the death of over 200 victims.

At least 24 people were killed during an attack carried out on March 5 by herdsmen in Omusu Edimoga, a village in Okpokwu Local Government Area of the state.

The bodies of 73 men, women and children were buried at a mass burial ceremony organised by the state government on January 11 after several attacks by cattle herders.

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