RESIDENTS of Apa community in Benue State on Friday, April 7, took to the streets to protest against incessant killings by suspected armed herdsmen in the state.
The protesters, mostly youths, mounted roadblocks on the Oweto-Loko-Abuja Road.
They lamented that more than 100 people have been killed and injured in the community while a traditional chief’s hand was amputated by the armed herdsmen.
The protests followed the killing of 46 persons in the latest attack by suspected armed herdsmen in Benue State.
The 46 persons were reportedly murdered in fatal attacks on Umogidi community of Entekpa Adoka district in the Otukpo Local Government Area of Benue State, on Thursday, April 6.
Speaking on Thursday, Chairman of Otukpo Local Government Area, Bako Eje, said the fresh attack was launched following the suspicious invasion of the community by herders on Tuesday.
“You know that these herders killed three people on Tuesday and they (herders) came back on Wednesday at about 4.15 pm and killed 46 people, including my own son, who was 32 years old.
“We just buried him and some other persons are still missing. Among the people killed were my immediate younger sister’s husband, and her second son who was almost 38 years old.”
Also a resident of the community, who identified himself a Sunny, said, “We were still mourning the death of the three people killed on Tuesday by these herders when we started hearing gunshots from different angles leading to the death of several people.”
Meanwhile, reacting to the attack on community members, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security, Paul Hemba described the incident as very tragic and painful.
“I can confirm to you that there was an attack in Umogidi and as of this morning, the casualty figure, from those who were seen physically from what I was told, was 46. But the figure may be higher because some people are still reported missing,” he said.
The police spokesperson for the state, Catherine Anene, disclosed that eight corpses have been recovered.
“Attack on Umogidi community is confirmed. Eight corpses have been recovered, including a police officer. More police teams have been deployed to the area to forestall further breakdown of law and order.”
According to the state emergency management agency, 18 of the 23 Local Government Areas had been under series attacks since the beginning of Governor Samuel Ortom’s administration.
Stories with punches holding the powerful accountable. His determination to speak out against corruption and influence the conversation in Nigeria, the surrounding region and the continent inspires him.