Tuesday, July 20, 2021 12:19 pm
An orgy of violence and killings continued in Benue State on Sunday when gunmen in different locations killed 10 persons in the State. Many of the killings, including those of two humanitarian aid workers were done in Guma Local Government Area, LGA of the State.
Daily Trust reports that the Chairman of Guma LGA, Caleb in Makurdi on Monday, said that four of the victims were killed in Mbabai council ward and another three people in Nzorov council ward while the one other bringing the number to eight was killed at night in Uvir council ward of Guma.
Aba who blamed the killings on suspected herders, stressed that he was baffled by the resurgence of attacks on his people since there were no issues reported earlier between the villagers and the herders.
The chairman also said that the three dead bodies killed in Nzorov which included two aid workers were evacuated by the operatives of Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS).
Local witnesses also alleged that suspected armed herders had on Sunday killed six people and two aid workers under the employ of 360HSCD, a nongovernmental organisations working on HIV/AIDs testing and counseling in Benue state, adding that the two bodies of the aid workers were later recovered by their organisation from OPWS.
Villagers had alleged that the aid workers were first seized by the gunmen before they were eventually killed, adding that when they called the telephone lines of the abducted aid workers, their captors who responded confirmed the killings and insisted that the killings will continue until Governor Samuel Ortom repeal the open grazing prohibition and ranching establishment law of 2017.
On the other hand, Secretary of Myetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Ibrahim Galma, said on Monday that two herders were killed in border areas between Benue and Nasarawa States.
Galma who denied the involvement of his members in the killings of eight people in Guma on Sunday, emphasised that he only heard from a source in Nasarawa that two herders were killed at the border areas.
He however said those herders were based in Nasarawa state because many of them migrated from Benue after the grazing law was enacted, adding that he was not in the position to speak for those not under his jurisdiction.
Meanwhile, the OPWS Public Relations Officer (PRO), Flying Officer, Audu Katty, has debunked the killings, stating, “From our source nothing like that happen.”
Contacted, the Police Spokesperson for Benue command, DSP Catherine Anene, confirmed the incident.
“Three persons were attacked and killed on their way to farm in Tomanyiin, Guma Local Government Area of Benue state,” Anene added.