Benue monarch confirms 9 deaths, abductions in fresh attack

MONARCH of Agatu in Benue State, Godwin Onah, has confirmed that at least nine people were killed in an attack by gunmen which occurred in the Ugboju community on Wednesday, January 31, 2024. 

Onah stated this while speaking to The ICIR on Thursday, February 1.

He said some girls were also abducted in the process, though they have been released.

“It was a heavy attack. For no reason at all, they attacked one small community, Ugboju community and nine people died. Some girls went to fetch water. They kidnapped nine girls, but they returned this morning after all the hazards. It happened yesterday evening, at about 5.30,” he told The ICIR.

Speaking on the recent spate of attacks, Onah said terrorists were gaining more access into the area through the neighbouring Local Government Area (LGA), Gwer West.

“What I am saying is, the Army should be posted between us and Gwer West because they now use Gwer West to come into Agatu,” he said.

    The ICIR contacted the Benue State Police Command for more updates on the attack. The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Command, Catherine Anene, could not be reached via telephone when filing this report.

    Benue State has been struggling with terror attacks carried out by suspected herdsmen and other criminal gangs, which have led to the killing of many people and loss of livelihoods.

    Several residents now live as Internally Displaced People (IDPs), and according to the state emergency management agency, there are 14 camps set up across the state to accommodate displaced people.

    The ICIR reported that economic challenges, made worse by the removal of fuel subsidy and other reforms by the current government, are worsening the already difficult situation for IDPs, especially those living with disabilities in the camps.

    Ijeoma Opara is a journalist with The ICIR. Reach her via [email protected] or @ije_le on Twitter.

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