The Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to match his words with action by deploying more troops to halt the killings in the state.
More than 134 people have been gruesomely murdered by Fulani herdsmen in the villages in Benue State in the last five days across three local government areas of Otukpo, Apa and Guma.
Ortom spoke Saturday, April 8th, 2023 when he paid a condolence visit to the Mgbam community in Nyiev council ward of Guma local government area where 36 people, including internally displaced persons were killed by Fulani herdsmen on Friday night, April 7th, 2023 while over 40 people were injured in the attack.
The governor described the attack as “heinous and cowardly” for the marauding herdsmen who have continued to kill innocent Benue indigenes without any provocation.
He said the President should not just stop at mourning with the families of the bereaved but also direct security agencies to go all out to arrest the Fulani militia who have made life unbearable to the people of the state.
Ortom stated that the time has come for the President to act fast beyond words and with concrete actions to end the killings.
He, however, appealed to the community and its leaders to continue to be law abiding but also be vigilant at all times so as to be able to wade off the assailants.
The governor also visited the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi where those injured in the unprovoked dastard attack are receiving treatment.
Speaking to journalists after going round the wards where the wounded were hospitalised, Ortom bemoaned the mindless killings by marauding invaders, stating that in the last five days similar attacks by armed herders in three LGAs of the state including, Otukpo, Apa and Guma have claimed over 134 lives of innocent.
Earlier, the District Head of Nyiev, His Highness, Bernard Shawa who lost a son and a daughter in the attack recalled how the assailants stormed his community at about 9 pm on Friday night and began shooting sporadically killing and wounding his subjects.
He said the victims were mostly those already displaced from their ancestoral lands and were taking refuge in a primary school near his home.
Mue Ter Ihyarev who also spoke on behalf of Ter Guma, HRH Dennis Shemberga expressed deep shock over the unprovoked killing of his subjects by the armed herdsmen.
He appealed to Ortom not to be discouraged by the spate of renewed attacks on their communities but also urged President Buhari to send more troops in the troubled spots to end the killings.
It would be recalled that on Monday April 3rd, 2023 the Fulani herdsmen launched an attack on Ikobi community of Apa LGA killing 47 persons, including a traditional ruler who was killed along with some his subjects.
Also on Wednesday, April 5th, the herdsmen invaders unleashed mayhem on Umogidi community in Entekpa Council Ward of Otukpo LGA where they massacred another 51 persons and sacked the community.
These devastating attacks by marauding Fulani herdsmen in Benue communities resumed immediately after the conduct of the February 25th Presidential and National Assembly elections with Kwande, Guma, Gwer-West, Logo, Apa, Agatu, Otukpo LGAs as some of the major flashpoints.
Pockets of these attacks have continued till last week Monday, April 3rd, when suspected herdsmen attacked and killed forty-seven people, including a traditional ruler in the Ikobi community of Apa local government.
Within forty-eight hours, the attacks moved to the Umogidi community of Entekpa ward in Otukpo local government where fifty-one persons lost their lives at the final scores.
From the scenes of the Friday night attack, the governor visited survivors who are now receiving treatment at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital in Makurdi and commiserated with them.