At least three communities in Benue state have been thrown into mourning following the gruesome killing of 17 of their residents in a coordinated attacks by suspected herdsmen last night.
The attacks which lasted for hours until the wee hours of this morning took place in Tse Ukor, Tse Gborigyo and Tse Uhembe communities all in Mbayer-Yandev Council Ward of Guma Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state.
Scores were said to have been left injured.
Reacting to the incident, former Speaker of the Benue State House of Assembly, Dave Iorhemba, who is an indigene of Yogbo, Mbayer-Yandev Council Ward, said the attacks were mindless and unfortunate.
Iorhemba said, “In the last couple of weeks, there have been series of attacks in some particular areas like Tse – Ukor where scores were killed and at Tse – Gborigyo where 7 people were killed and several others injured and taken to the hospital for treatment.
“For now the number of persons we have counted that were killed between Friday and today is up to 17 and some are badly injured and are receiving treatment in the hospital.
“We want to thank Governor Ortom who has assisted in the payment of the medical bills of those who were injured.”
The former lawmaker also lamented the food scarcity and humanitarian crisis in the state caused by growing insecurity.
He said, “There is a huge, huge humanitarian crisis and food security challenge in the state as I can see because once the farmers cannot go back and do their farming activities and they cannot go back to their ancestral homes, the food crisis is imminent.
“There is no food anywhere apart from the foodstuff that Government stockpiled and are distributing to the IDPs. There is no other food anywhere.
“If the government is distributing foodstuff, does it end there? The people must participate in farming activities to produce food massively which we used to do in Benue state until herdsmen starting sacking our people from the ancestral homes,”
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom has appealed to the federal government, local and international donors, NGOs, and individuals to assist the state government to provide support to close to one million Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, in the state.
The Governor, who made the appeal today at the Tse Uikpam IDPs camp Guma LGA, where he celebrated his 60th. birthday with over 27,000 IDPs lamented that the state had been overwhelmed by IDPs and the state government lacked the resources to cater for their needs.
“How can I have any kind of celebration without my people who are trapped in the IDPs camps? That is why I have come here to celebrate and identity with you and also plead with the federal government to fulfill its promise of resettling the IDPs in their ancestral homes.
“These are people sacked from their homes by marauding herdsmen who are still attacking and killing our people raping our women and maiming our people. But I know for sure that someday there will be judgment for them.
“As the Governor of the state, I also see myself as an IDP. I am directly and indirectly affected and I pray every day to God for justice which will surely be served some day,” the Governor said.