FOLLOWING fresh attacks on some communities in the Guma Local Government Area (LGA) of Benue, which occurred on Thursday, August 10, residents have taken to the streets to protest against the incessant killings in the state.
The protesters, mostly women and young people, blocked the Markurdi-Abuja highway very early on Friday, August 11, demanding an end to the attacks.
A resident of Benue state Gabriel Yev, confirmed to The ICIR on Friday that suspected herders attacked the Ngban community in Guma.
“There were killings yesterday around Ngban. Right now, women are protesting over it,” Yev said.
Though Yev could not provide information on the number of people murdered, locals claim that at least five people were killed in separate attacks carried out within Mgban and Niyan communities on Thursday.
Security Adviser, Guma LGA Christopher Waku confirmed the killings, saying three people were killed in Ngban, while the other two murders occurred in Niyan.
“Three people were killed at Ngban yesterday night and two people killed at Nyian this morning. The women have said that they are not going to leave the road until the governor comes and talks to them. I’m right now on the road, the women are protesting waiting for governor, Rev Fr Hyacinth Alia,” Waku said.
Benue state has been one of the hotbeds of terror attacks in Northern Nigeria.
According to the state’s commissioner for Information, Mike Inelagwu, over 5,000 people have died in Benue as a result of terror attacks in the last seven years.
The state is also overwhelmed with Internally Displaces Persons who have lost their homes and other property to the attacks.
In April, at least 95 persons were killed during attacks on different LGAs within the state, including Otukpo and Guma, over a period of three days.
The killings sparked up a protest by young people in the state, who blocked vehicular movement along the Otukpo-Abuja highway for hours.
The ICIR reported that about 55 people were killed in four communities within Otukpo LGA in April.
Residents of Umuogidi, one of the affected communities, told The ICIR that the attacks, which also saw the demise of children, were unprovoked and unexpected.