Benue Killings: Oyintiloye Hails President Buhari’s N10 Billion support fund

A lawmaker in the Osun state House of Assembly, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for approving N10 Billion

A lawmaker in the Osun state House of Assembly, Olatunbosun Oyintiloye has hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for approving N10 Billion for the rehabilitation of communities affected by violent attacks in parts of the country.
Oyintiloye Obokun (APC) said the move which is being overseen by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo is a step in the right direction saying rehabilitation of the the affected communities and return of victims to their settlement is a laudable effort
The lawmaker who doubles as the Chairman, House Committee on Information and Strategy said the commitment of President Buhari to provide effective security, ensure that affected people can go back to their homes and rebuild those communities, restore farms, support traders and ensure that children are back in school as remarkable.
Olatunbosun who condoled with the families that lost loved ones said unity of purpose is needed among Nigerians to win the war against insurgency, urging Nigerians to dismiss the religious colorations and other biased sentiments that are always attached to criminal attacks and killings in the country.
Benue state had experienced several attacks by persons suspected to be Fulani herdsmen, leading to the killing of hundreds of people, with thousands currently displaced from their ancestral lands

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MUTUK Condemns, Seek End To Benue Killings.

Tiv people resident in the United Kingdom, under the auspices of Mutual Union of Tiv in the United Kingdom, (MUTUK)

Tiv people resident in the United Kingdom, under the auspices of Mutual Union of Tiv in the United Kingdom, (MUTUK) have condemned the recent escalation of killings in Benue State and condoled with the families of victims of the despicable acts.

MUTUK particularly expressed sadness over the grotesque killings at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Ukpor-Mbalom in Gwer East local government area, where 19 Tiv
people lost their lives in an attack in a church, including two priests.

In a statement issued Friday, and signed by its president, Mr Kuram Gwakyaa, the body pointed out that the horrific killings in 2018 were the culmination of years of unchecked violence.

“This is a hugely complicated issue that has been made even worse through religious hatred. It is beyond our powers as a non-governmental body to deliver a solution to this dire situation, but we are committed to doing anything within our powers to ensure a swift resolution is made by the relevant bodies,” the statement read in part.

MUTUK layed the blame for the killings at the doorstep of the federal government, which, according to the body, had failed to act thus far, but said it was high time the government stepped in to resolve the wretched situation in Benue State.

“We understand the frustration of those who have been living in the nightmare of the herdsmen terror in Benue. We have heard your plea that there has been enough talking, and that decisive action is desperately needed. We acknowledge the need to act in any way we can. We, the Tivs in the UK, are working to identify further measures we can take in the coming days and will communicate these in due course.

“In the meantime, we will continue to campaign and tell the world about this issue,” the statement added.

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Workers Day: Benue CSOs task Buhari on herdsmen’s killings

Rose Ejembi, Makurdi The Benue State Network of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) stole the show at the Workers Day celebration

Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

The Benue State Network of Civil Society Organisations (CSO) stole the show at the Workers Day celebration which held at the IBB Square, in Makurdi, on Tuesday, as they staged a peaceful protest to demand that President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government must stop the Benue killings immediately.

The over 50 CSOs bore different placards with various inscriptions including, “Buhari, Every Benue Youth is a Yusuf”, “Our lives matter,” Enough is Enough,” while chanting that the President should say something about the Benue killings.

Speaking on behalf of the Network, Pastor Dave Ogbole who regretted the continued massacre of Benue people by invading herdsmen maintained that a crime is being committed in Benue against humanity.

“While President Buhari government remains clueless, Benue remains lifeless. They that kill us are more organized. Our only crime is that we have water and grass. The President has come again to shift to a new narrative that the killers are Gaddaffi-trained militiamen. A crime is being committed in Benue State against humanity. Enough is enough.”

Ogbole who expressed support for the Governor Samuel Ortom and the state’s Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranching Law insisted that the law would not be bent to accommodate mischief.

“We stand with our governor and the open grazing prohibition law. Laws are made to address mischief. Our laws will not be scrapped to accommodate mischief.

“If they want to scrap our law, they should first scrap the sharia law. If nobody is querying Zamfara State for making sharia law, nobody should query our law because we will not bend it.”

While positing that the military exercise was a cover to accommodate herdsmen to take over Benue land, the Network demanded that the military exercise code armed Ex Ayem Akpatuma be scrapped and a better one be authorized in the state.

The group who revealed that they would be occupying Benue for one week starting from Tuesday to Sunday further urged the State government to institute a judicial commission of inquiry to enable the state demand justice.

“Our law has come to stay. You can recover stolen funds but you cannot recover stolen or killed lives. Until their is justice there can’t be lasting peace. We demand IGP’s immediate removal.

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Attacks, Killings: Is Benue Under Siege?

For over two weeks, Benue State has been under siege as herdsmen terrorists launched series of attacks against helpless residents

For over two weeks, Benue State has been under siege as herdsmen terrorists launched series of attacks against helpless residents in various parts of the once peaceful state.

Before the latest horrifying attacks on innocent residents by the suspected herdsmen, the state’s acting Governor, Engr Benson Abounu, had raised fresh alarm that security reports made available to him indicated that a large number of hired armed mercenaries had occupied Benue valley planning to launch simultaneous attacks on five major communities in the state.

Abounu averred that according to the reports he received, mercenaries have already occupied five different locations and communities along the riverine areas of the state, waiting to launch possible attacks.

The acting governor who disclosed this shortly after he came out of the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting held at the Government House, Makurdi, called for the federal government’s urgent intervention to safeguard the lives and property of Benue people and other people residing in the state.

He said “we have received security reports which indicated that large numbers of hired armed mercenaries have moved into the Benue Valley and had mapped out five different locations in Benue state to launch possible attacks on five major communities in the state simultaneously.

“This development is absolutely worrisome and unhealthy to our state and we condemn it in totality.

“The reports further showed that the hired mercenaries would be carrying out their nefarious attacks on those communities occupied by people around the riverine  areas of the state.

“Since we got this report, we have never rested on our oars. I have been meeting with all the  heads of security formations in the state for us to find ways of stopping these people “, Abounu stressed.

He appealed to the federal government, to as a matter of urgency, deploy more security personnel to the state to be mounted in and around all the border communities so as to protect those living along the banks of River Benue.

Shortly after the acting governor raised the alarm, a 65-year-old man and a 24-year-old graduate were burnt to ashes, while 300 houses set on fire in phase 2, Naka, Gwer- west Local Government Area of the state by suspected armed military men who were said to be searching for their missing colleague.

Confirming the incident, the chairman of the local government, Francis Ayaga, disclosed that the Nigerian Army in the early hours of Thursday arrived Gwer in six hilux trucks, with inscription, 72 Special Forces Battalion.

According to him nobody was informed about the arrival of the soldiers, even though about 10  communities had been under continuous attack by the marauding herdsmen for the past two months, that quantum of military personnel were not sent to safeguard the area.

Before then, he said there was a rumour that a soldier was allegedly killed by armed bandit in Naka town.

“We were investigating the issue alongside other security personnel and I was in constant touch with the CO at the 72 battalion, we even made some arrests, only for the Army to wake up load six trucks of Army to go and raze Naka town, the headquarters of Gwer West local government. Everyone was afraid as residents continued to flee their homes for safety as they saw the Army in that large number, all of a sudden, the said Army started setting houses ablaze, where two people lost their lives in the inferno, we lost everything,” he said.

He continued “a 65 -year -old man who was unable to run and could not be carried by his family members was burnt inside the house, while a 24 year- old university graduate in the process of running was engulfed by the flames where he fainted and died instantly. Several others are in the hospital including a retired civil servant who fainted because he lost everything he toiled for, how can the Nigerian Army who we think will protect us are turning against us destroying our properties, instead of going after these herdsmen that are killing us alongside security agents, “he lamented.

Confirming  the incidence, the assistant director, Army Public Relations, 707 SF Brigade, Major Olabisi Ayeni, said on April 18, 2018, at about 3:30 pm, troops of the 707 SF brigade deployed to  Naka in Gwer West Local Government observed the absence of PTE Danlami Gambo from his duty post, but his riffle was there.

He said “It was then gathered that the soldier was last seen receiving a phone call, but left in search of a clear network and did not return. Troops immediately conducted patrols to search for him at about 6:10pm the troops observe blood stains along a foothold path leading to a newly dug grave”.

According to Ayeni, the troops immediately dug the grave and the remains of the missing soldier was found brutally butchered and was later exhumed and deposited at the Nigerian Air Force mortuary, Makurdi.

Ayeni explained that already preliminary investigations revealed that some locals were responsible for the killing of the soldier which has led to the arrest of some suspects.

He disclosed that a team has dispatched from the unit to the scene of the incident, adding that investigation is on going to unravel the circumstances that led to the death of the soldier.

Also, Tuesday, April 24, 2018 was another black day for the people of Benue as two Catholic priests Rev. Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha, alongside 35 worshippers  who were worshipping at St. Ignatius Quasi Parish Ukpor-Mbalom Gwer local government area of the state were gruesomely murdered by suspected herdsmen during the early morning mass.

Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Rev. Fr. Moses Iorapuu, who confirmed the deaths of the two Reverend Fathers said the herdsmen in their usual style attacked the church when the priests were celebrating morning mass, killed them and other parishioners who came for morning prayers, burnt down homes and destroyed food items.

According to him, the police seem to know nothing of the attacks which have been going on in villages within Benue State since the Anti-Open Grazing Law came into effect last year.

“Many people are asking why the International community has remained silent over the massacre of Benue citizens.The answer is simple: It has been the goal of the Jihadists to conquer Benue and Tiv people who resisted their advance into the middle belt and the Eastern part of Nigeria since 1804.

“The people of Eastern Nigeria therefore have little sympathy for Benue people who fought on the side of Nigeria during the 1967 civil war.The Muslim north is enjoying a sweet revenge overshadowed by an insensitive regime,”he stated.

According to him, there were over 180, 000 internally displaced persons before the Naka invasion and surely with the current situation in Mbalom, Benue will be flooded with thousands more.

“What cannot be said at this point is the consequences of the death of missionaries in the silent killings that have been ignored  by the government for over a year.

“The Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, which is one of the largest Dioceses in Nigeria, has been active in providing relief materials including education and skills acquisition lessons to internally displaced persons. To go for the priests means total destruction of everything we stand for and believe in, as a people”.

He appealed to the federal government, to as a matter of urgency, deploy more security personnel to the state to be mounted in and around all the border communities so as to protect those living along the banks of River Benue.

Reacting to the attack on the church in the early hours of Tuesday, Benue State acting Governor, Engr Benson Abounu said that the “persistent killings in the state are beyond the farmers/ herdsmen crises and called on the federal government to treat the attackers as insurgent just as it is done in the North East of the country.”

Abounu who described the attack as barbaric and senseless said, the killings  have now taken a new dimension.

“This is another black day for the people of the state, the attackers who they said are over 30 targeted a burial ceremony and the church in the area. This, I can say is a calculated genocide on the people of the state, and what is happening now is a clear demonstration that the state is under siege because the state is being attacked in all corners, this is unacceptable.

“It is a calculated attack, well planned and well executed and I am directing the security agencies not to take this as the usual herdsmen/ farmer crises, let them go after the attackers and apprehend and interrogate them to know the root cause of the crises” .

According to him the bodies of 19 worshippers including two catholic priests have already been recovered.

Confirming the killings, the state’s  commissioner of police, Fatai Owoseni, said the attackers who came around 5:30am targeted a burial ceremony where the priests were to officiate a mass, shooting at anyone in sight.

He disclosed that the command has deployed enough security personnel in the area alongside soldiers to go after the attackers and ensure their arrest,  urging the members of the community to assist the security agencies in the area with useful information to help them work better.

“After doing a wider coverage of the general area, we also went to the church where this incident happened. That was where we were told on the spot that these attackers came by 5am, went into the church and to the venue of a burial that was going on where the priest was supposed to officiate.

“We will intensify our search to go after these people wherever they may hide. We will also work on the information from the members of public there because we believe that they must have been hanging around the place to have committed the act at 5am. So, we still believe that they they would be somewhere around there,” he added.

Our correspondent gathered that the latest  attack came barely four days after the murder of 10 persons by herdsmen in Guma Local Government Area and the destruction of 300 houses by men suspected to be military personnel in Naka, Gwer West Local Government Area of the state.

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President decries Benue killings as “satanic”, promises justice for victims

Following the atrocities in Benue State earlier today, where two Catholic reverends were murdered in Ayar Mbalom, a village in

Following the atrocities in Benue State earlier today, where two Catholic reverends were murdered in Ayar Mbalom, a village in Gwer East LGA of Benue State, President Buhari has come out with a statement condemning the killings, with a promise to remedy what has developed into a full blown national security crisis.

In a Twitter thread, President Buhari extended his condolences to the people of Benue, whose state has been in the thick of sustained, almost daily, attacks from armed herdsmen. The latest in these series of murders are two priests of St Ignatius’ Catholic Church.

Reverend fathers Gor Joseph Joseph and Felix Tyolaha were killed Tuesday when armed herdsmen stormed the village of Ayar Mbalom.

The Catholic Diocese of Makurdi subsequently called on the Federal Government to intervene to stop the spate of brutal mass murders that have gripped the middle belt region of Nigeria for the last few months.

“Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha have been confirmed dead in the deadly attack by herdsmen early today on Mbalom village of St. Ignatius Quasi Parish Ukpor-Mbalom,” the Diocese statement read.

Going into fuller detail, Fr. Moses Iorapuu, Director of Communications for the Diocese said about the attacks:

“In their classic style, they burn down homes, destroy food items and kill. The police seem to know nothing of the attacks which have been going on in other villages within Benue State since the Anti Open Grazing Law came into effect last year.

“Many people are asking why the international community has remained silent over the massacre of Benue citizens? The answer is simple: It has been the goal of the jihadists to conquer Benue and Tiv people who resisted their advance into the middle-belt since 1804; the people who rejected Islam and fought for the unification of Nigeria in the civil war of 1967 – 1970.

“The people of the East, therefore, have little sympathy for Benue people and the Muslim North is enjoying a sweet revenge overshadowed by an insensitive regime. There were over 170.000 internally displaced persons before the Naka invasion and surely with the current situation in Mbalom, Benue will be flooded with thousands more.

“What cannot be said at this point is the consequences of the death of missionaries in the silent killings that have been siloed by the government for over a year. The diocese has been active in providing relief materials including education and skills acquisition lessons. To go for the priests means total destruction of everything we stand for and believe in!”

Responding to these new atrocities, the President promised to “ensure that the assailants are apprehended and brought to justice for this vile and sacrilegious act,” calling the attacks “vile, evil and satanic.”

Meanwhile, Nigerian Army operations in the region, which have been ongoing with Exercise Cat Race at the forefront of surveillance and security cordon of vulnerable states, have not been able to prevent incidents like the latest killings, which have intensified not just in frequency but in sheer brutality.

Just under a week ago, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had estimated that about 257 innocent victims have been killed since January as a result of the herdsmen onslaught against rural farming communities mostly in the middle belt region of the country.

What, if any, new measures the President will set up to address the escalating crisis remains to be seen. But with a population largely disarmed and at the mercy of mass murderers, and security protection by the state inadequate for the more remote vulnerable communities targeted by the killer herdsmen, Nigerians are beginning to question not if, but when, the next round of killings will make the next headlines. In the meantime, the body count grows with each new victim that is laid to the ground.

 

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10 Corpses Recovered at Benue

The Benue Police Command said on Friday that it had recovered 10 corpses of villagers killed by suspected bandits in

The Benue Police Command said on Friday that it had recovered 10 corpses of villagers killed by suspected bandits in Tse-Audu and Enger villages in Gwer West local government area of the state.

The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Moses Yamu, said in a statement that the corpses were victims of the Thursday attacks on the villages.

He said the corpses were found by the mobile police contingent deployed to Naka, the headquarters of the local government council.

NAN reported that Yamu attributed the deaths to bandits, saying that the police had in their routine surveillance also encountered the bandits.

He said, “Eight dead bodies were found in the bush around Tse-Audu and Enger villages in Gwer West local government. This is in addition to the two bodies that were removed from the same area on the same day.”

The PPRO, however, assured residents of the communities of their safety, pointing out that a detachment of police team on counter insurgency had been deployed in the area.

He also advised members of the public to always report any suspicious movement to security agencies for immediate action.

Killings: Police Recover 10 Bodies In Benue Villages

The Police in Benue State, on Friday, said they have recovered 10 bodies suspected to be that of the victims of

Truck Driver Allegedly Beats Wife To Death In Benue

The Police in Benue State, on Friday, said they have recovered 10 bodies suspected to be that of the victims of an attack, scattered around bushes in some villages in the state.

Fresh attacks were earlier reported in some communities in Benue State on Thursday night. The attack was carried out by gunmen suspected to be herdsmen.

The Police in a statement signed by Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Moses Yamu, said the bodies were found in the bush around Tse-Adudu and Enger villages in Gwer West Local Government Area of the state.

READ ALSO: Court Jails Woman For Killing Babies

“Eight dead bodies were found in the bush around Tse-Audu and Enger villages in Gwer West local government. This is in addition to the two bodies that were removed from the same area on the same day.

“They were believed to be victims of armed bandits, suspected to be cross-border insurgents and cattle rustlers. The Mobile Police Force Unit deployed in Naka general area, had in the course of their patrols, encountered the same Insurgents,” the police said.

The police said security operations have been stepped up in the affected communities with reinforcement of the Police Special Forces to counter insurgency and criminal activities of the gunmen.

The police, therefore, asked members of the public to report any suspicious movement in their areas to security agencies.

Benue State has witnessed several conflicts involving farmers and herdsmen with increased killings since January 2018.

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Benue killings: Why I no longer sleep at night – Ortom

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has decried the condition and welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state. He

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has decried the condition and welfare of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the state.

He said it has become his cause of worry as he could no longer sleep with his eyes closed over the IDPs losing their homes due to the attacks by suspected herdsmen.

Governor Ortom made this known during a tour of four IDPs camps at Abagana, R.C.M Daudu, Shelter Daudu and Gbajimba.

“We are here to show our solidarity to the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and assure you that we cannot sleep with our eyes closed, even as we have continued to work in the manner that peace would be restored in attacked communities, so that you people can go back your ancestral homes.

“I cannot sleep in Government House because I think about how you people are faring. I think about how over 12,000 of you in just one camp are coping outside your homes.

“God should strengthen the President. We appreciate his efforts but we are appealing that exercise Ayem-A-Kpatuma should be upgraded to an operation that would ensure that those who have been sacked by Fulani herdsmen can go back to their ancestral homes,” he said.

Earlier during the tour, the Executive Secretary State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr Emmanuel Shior gave statistics of the population of the four camps at 34,019, 12,262, 11,782 and 24,019 respectively, making the total number of IDPs 82,562 comprising of the elderly, physically challenged, nursing mothers, pregnant women and children.

Shior stated that the state government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Faith-based organizations (FBOs) and spirited individuals had been very supportive to the upkeep of IDPs and maintenance of camps, stating that more is needed as there were new entrants into some of the camps today.

“We sincerely and heartily appreciate his excellency, Gov Samuel Ortom, NGOs, FBOs and all spirited individuals who have been supportive in the upkeep of the IDPs and the running of the camps in the areas of health, emergency education,sanitation and security.

“Regardless of the various supports, going back home remains the ultimate for the IDPs.Whatever is done will not be enough because even today we had new arrivals. We appreciate the Federal Government for the support of the National Emergency and Management Agency (NEMA). NEMA was here once and we hope that more intervention from the Federal Government would be had,” Mr Shior said.

Rev. Tom Igya during an exhortation, encouraged the people (IDPs) not to give up on God, as no one can find help outside God, reading from the Bible in the book of Second Kings 6:27 –“And he said, If the LORD do not help thee, whence shall I help thee, out of the barnfloor, or out of the winepress?”

Benue killings: We are tired of burying our citizens – Ortom cries out

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said the state cannot continue to bury her citizens as a result of ceaseless

Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom, has said the state cannot continue to bury her citizens as a result of ceaseless attacks on them by suspected herdsmen.

The Governor while speaking at St. Bernard’s Primary School, Ugwu-Okpoga, assured that killing of Benue people had come to an end.

Governor Ortom, who consoled the bereaved families, as well reinstated his call for the arrest of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, added that despite the pains, the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law had come to stay in Benue.

He recalled that with the Omusu attack, the three senatorial districts had tested death occasioned by the aggression of the herdsmen and maintained that his administration was always ready to provide security for lives and properties of every section of the state .

Speaking separately, the Deputy Governor, Engr. Benson Abounu, Deputy Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Hon. James Okefe, Chief Obande Obeya, Chairman, Okpokwu Local Government Council, Hon Olofu Ogwuche, the three socio-cultural organizations in the state and Pastor Dave Ogbole expressed satisfaction in the state government’s handling of the crisis since January 1st and urged all to be united behind the Governor to win the war against terror.

Adeboye to Ortom: Benue killings made me weep

The General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, paid a condolence visit to Benue State

PVC, Adeboye

The General Overseer of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye, paid a condolence visit to Benue State on the recent killing of innocent people by Fulani herdsmen.

Adeboye told Governor Samuel Ortom how he wept in January during the mass burial of 78 victims killed in the mayhem.

He said: “No man of God will see a mass burial anywhere and not feel the pains of the people affected.

“Benue state is very, very close to my heart. I had felt every pain you people felt and I wept when I saw you weeping.”

Adeboye, who was accompanied by his wife, Folu, said he was in Makurdi to console and pray for the government and people of the state over the killings by suspected herdsmen.

He said he did not visit the state before the President to avoid unnecessary speculations about his intention.

He said: “We want these killings to stop. Happily we know someone who can stop it, He is the Almighty God. He does not fail or compromise. He is the God of all.

“We will continue to call on Him to fight this battle and you can be assured that victory will be certain.”

Receiving Adeboye and his entourage, Ortom said the herdsmen’s rampage, apart from causing the deaths of many people has created a huge humanitarian crisis in the state.

He said: “The crisis has turned Benue State into a huge refuge and IDPs camp.

“With well over 180,000 persons displaced and housed in nine  camps in the state in a crisis that affected 16 out of the 23 local government areas of the state, my government is overwhelmed. But we know that there is nothing too hard for our God to do in the face of difficulties.”

 

 

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