Three killed in fresh attacks on Benue communities

Nigerian police force
Nigerian police force

Three persons were feared killed in a late night assault on Benue communities Thursday, residents have told PREMIUM TIMES.

The victims were ambushed by assailants who hit villages around Anyiin, a major town in Logo Local Government Area that serves as a base for police special forces and has one of the biggest IDP camps.

PREMIUM TIMES broke the news of the attacks on Thursday night, citing residents’ accounts that five persons were in critical condition from gunshot wounds.

They were all rescued and taken to NKST Hospital in Anyiin by police special forces, witnesses said.

But two of the five victims died overnight, Anyiin residents told PREMIUM TIMES Friday morning.

The first victim who died was identified as 40-year-old Orduuga Kumaga. Another victim was identified as Mnenge Orson, aged 30.

The attacks claimed a third victim whom residents identified as a man of Hausa ethnic group. He was riding on a motorcycle from his village in Akwana to Anyiin when he was killed.

He was reportedly on the bike with a Tiv man, who was also critically wounded by gunshots and was receiving treatments at the hospital in Anyiin.

A female victim, Kanan Munduga, 18, has been transferred to Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Makurdi.

Kavera Alfred, a medical personnel at NKST Hospital, said Ms. Munduga was transferred because she had lost too much blood than they could handle at his hospital.

The doctor said he was attending to two more victims, Abraham Terer, 23, and Ambua Shimer, a 40-year-old woman.

The doctor said the victim’s medical bills had been covered by Terkura Suswam, a politician and founder of Ashi Polytechnic.

“He also helped facilitate the transfer of Ms. Munduga to the Teaching Hospital in Makurdi,” he said.

The doctor said the two remaining victims at his hospital had been stabilised and should be able to recover there if their treatment go on as hoped.

The police have not commented on the reported attacks despite repeated requests for comments from PREMIUM TIMES between Thursday night and Friday morning.

PREMIUM TIMES reached Habila Joshak, the deputy inspector-general in charge of operation who has been coordinating police efforts against herdsmen attacks in the area, but he did not reply.

Fatai Owoseni, the police commissioner in Benue, also did not return requests for comments.

Similarly, both Moses Yamu, the police spokesperson in Benue, and Suleiman Zubeiru, the area commander in Katsina-Ala, did not respond to requests for comments.

Residents said they were alarmed that the attackers also hit Tsukwa village, which is about a mile from Anyiin where police special forces are stationed.

“If they could still return to Tsukwa to carry out another attack despite its proximity to Anyiin, then we can all conclude that there’s no security and even those of us in Anyiin are not safe,” a community chief told PREMIUM TIMES on strict anonymity Friday morning.

Tsukwa was one of the seven villages that recorded casualties in the January 1 attacks linked to suspected herdsmen.

It was the only village that was somewhat accessible as at last month when PREMIUM TIMES visited communities in Logo LGA.

“The special forces personnel are usually at their station every night,” a resident said. “This is something that had been reported to their bosses but no changes came.”

The special forces reportedly chased the attackers and rescued some victims, but no arrests had been made in connection to the attacks as at 9:00 a.m. Friday, PREMIUM TIMES learnt.

Since January 1, hundreds of villagers have been killed in herdsmen-linked attacks that have now become regular around Benue State.

The escalation was said to be in response to the anti-open grazing law that came into effect on November 1 in Benue.

Between January 1 and 3, suspected herdsmen stormed the villages in Logo and Guma Local Government Areas and butchered people, according to witnesses and Benue government accounts.

Seventy-two of the victims were given mass burial at a newly-built graveyard near Makurdi, the state capital, on January 12.

The state government says the attackers did not begin their assaults because of the new grazing law, citing scores of herdsmen-linked attacks that had been recorded across the states since 2011.

The herdsmen association has regularly accused Benue residents of rustling their livestock and sometimes, killing herdsmen.

They, however, denied being responsible for the deadly attacks on villagers.

The perpetrators of last night’s attacks used guns, but the January 1 killers came with machetes and cutlasses.

The police insist that they are capable of degrading the attackers, with the Inspector-General Idris Ibrahim sending additional five special forces units to the 10 that were initially deployed mid-January.

But as the attacks have continued with President Muhammadu Buhari frequently coming under pressure to take action, he ordered a deployment of troops to support the police for six weeks.

The deployment, which was announced on Wednesday, would last from February 15 to March 31.


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  • Radmann

    I want to speak to all Nigerians to come together. Nigerians must put a stop
    to the killing government of Muhamadu Buhari and his Fulani terrorist group.
    We cannot continue like this. We cannot be doing burial everyday like this O.
    All APC and PDP supporters must come together to vote against Buhari so as
    to save NIGERIA from mass killing. This is a patriotic call to all good Nigerians.
    Buhari and his Islamist Jihadist militias must go for Nigeria to ever know peace.

  • Opekete

    Nigerian police are so spineless that the only place they flex their rickety muscle is among defenseless masses. Why should the government have to call in the troops to intervene in civil crimes all the time? The police should bury their heads in shame. It is about time that the government should create a special intervention forces fashioned after the national guard in America. With the army of unemployed youths roaming the street, creating a special intervention forces will not only reduce unemployment, it will bring in added economic benefit that security entails. Thinking out of the box is an essential ingredient of progress.

  • KBE

    The terrorist President and IGP are not going to raise a finger

    • AryLoyds

      The fulani herdsmen are running amok cos their warlord is in power!

  • Frank Bassey

    Police has already categorized Gov. Ortom of Benue as a drowning man. So, any harm can be inflicted on the the state and nothing will happen. Benue people should rise and defend themselves. They should apply the same energy they exhibited when they maimed and killed the Easterners on the eve of the civil war. I lost three uncles in the hands of these wicked Benue Tivs.

    • Julius

      Hummm, now I see where your hatred originated from. Sorry about your uncles and for everybody that lost loved ones during or before the war. Were those Benue Tivs muslims ?..because you equally hates them. I too lost an uncle, a gallant Nigerian soldier.

      • Okokondem

        @Frank Bassey is making the point that for far too long the people formerly known as the Middle Belt stood by and even acquiesced to the subjugation of the Ibgos, and the previous civil war pogrom of the same Igbos (of which his uncles were mistaken for) by the Hausa/Fulani. Such experience stirs emotions not easily forgotten.

        While no one is actually cheering the ongoing senseless killings of people of the Middle Belt, fact is during the recent mobilization of federal troops to the South East to intimidate the so called IPOB demonstrators, there weren’t many voices of condemnation coming from the Middle Belt. I suppose in Nigeria it’s all about whose ox is being gored.

      • Frank Bassey

        The “gallant Nigerian soldier” uncle of yours was not killed by Ibibios, Anangs, Efiks or Ibos. He died fighting the Easterners. But the wicked Tivs that slaughtered the Easterners were not necessarily soldiers. These are civilians who ambushed the trains at Makurdi, Ortukpo, Langa-Langa and dealt with them to please their Fulani Lords. They abused GEJ and sang the praise of PMB. Now, their blood is flowing, flowing and flowing in the hands of their merciless Northern brothers. I wish them luck.

        • Julius

          Ibos are not Easterners ?. May I also remind you that there were some Yorubas that fought on the side of biafra…so you never know. Hey, I’m not saying that those doing the killing or have killed people for no justifiable reason shouldn’t be held accountable either here on earth or beyond.

          • Frank Bassey

            You are now modifying your submission. You are never stable in mind; and that h as been your awful identity on this platform. May I remind you also, that certain Igbo were good to Yoruba about and during the civil war.

        • The Optimist

          Your pains are understandable. The ambushes you mentioned were real. The truth now is that if Benue is decimated and overrun by these barbaric band of wanderers, don’t you think they would have inched dangerously too close to Igboland? Imagine these killings by Fulani herdsmen then reaching Enugu and Anambra states. God forbid but you agree the scenario could become real in years to come, don’t you? Eschew the bitterness and join forces against the terrorists. They jubilate when they see us disunited. It is what they want to enable them have the upper hand perpetually against all other ethnic groups. Surely you hate that too. Right? God bless you.

          • Frank Bassey

            Let them attempt it.

    • The Optimist

      The civil war was unfortunate. It has come and gone and I think nation building requires us to put that behind. Looking back while walking forward may bring more harm than good.

      • Frank Bassey

        Agreed. But it is important to point out that a section of the country paid the supreme price for the nation-building we aspire to institute. In life, whatever goes round, comes around. That is why we must moderate our behaviour.

  • Pawa2

    Na wah o! When will this stop! WHO WILL SAVE US?????

  • Gary

    How many more of the Benue people will die before the Buhari regime moves to stop the campaign of ethnic cleansing by his Fulani Herdsmen?
    This is just so wrong and nauseating that people are still being slaughtered by these terrorists while the government dithers about its basic obligations.

    How long does it take to mobilize a platoon of troops to these villages to reinforce the Police already deployed. So they want us to believe that the Nigerian Army needs two weeks to send soldiers with guns to keep the peace in a rural community inside Nigeria? We are not deceived, no matter the effusions from Aso Rock.

    For those who think their lives don’t matter, these are people, like other besieged farming communities elsewhere, without whom Nigeria faces famine or at best high food prices.
    Those who sow the wind, will surely reap the whirlwind. God will protect the Benue people, no matter what Buhari does or refuses to do.

    • The Optimist

      Buhari and his security team are obviously deliberately looking the other way for reasons best known to them but subject to speculation. You have already talked about ethnic cleansing and how it is done. So, as you can see, your guess is as good as mine.

  • Nuraddeen Usman

    Now that all the Fulani and other herders are chased out of the Benue state, who is responsible for the killing? Not only a Fulani man, even Hausa man cannot pass through Benue to go to other Nigerian states, the Tiv nationals kills in the name of self defense. Now, who is responsible for these killing? The truth will surely be revealed. Some people are playing politics with the lives of other innocent people.

    • Gary

      Don’t muffle issues…the Janjaweed-style militia backing the Herdsmen are still operating in the bushes and forests of rural Benue launching hit-and-run assaults to keep the people away from their villages and farmlands.

      That is how Ethnic Cleansing works: terrorize the local populace with systemic violence as to make them permanently vacate their lands which the invader then occupies. That is what was done at Agatu (before Benue passed its Anti-Grazing Law) that Fulani Herdsmen occupied after the massacre of its people.

      • The Optimist

        Don’t mind that mercenary.

    • The Optimist

      Say what you may out of IGNORANCE or support for the terrorist Fulani herdsmen. Fulani herdsmen are still everywhere in Benue. A visit will convince you, if so doing is not HARAM, so as to illuminate your brainwashed mind.

  • Rev

    Nigerians will regret voting Buhari for long time.

    • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

      Very true. Some of us warned Nigerians not to vote for him but we weren’t just ignored, we were abused and called all sorts of names..

  • Omooba Adekunle Orafidiya

    It is high time the National Assembly commenced impeachment proceedings against illiterate, certificate forger, perjurer, bigot, sectionalist and herdsman Muhammadu Buhari.

  • forestgee

    About 13 States want Cow & Sharia Colonies, they should give us Education & Technology Colonies. APC government is determined to drag us back to Stone Age!

  • ijelejames

    People are killed everyday by Fulani herdsmen and Buhari and our politicians are sipping tea. Only God will help Nigeria. Shameful!

  • Eniola T. Gbadamosi

    @ijelejames:disqus

    Yemi Osinbajo as charlatan wrapped in hypocrisy

    Charlatans are ruling Nigeria. That is why
    the country seems to be falling apart. Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo
    was saying yesterday in the newspapers that “State Police is the way to go” to
    curb genocidal killings by Fulani herdsmen rampaging Nigeria. He is wrong on two grounds.

    First, like an ostrich,
    Yemi Osinbajo hides his head in the ground so as not to see obvious
    violation in the carrying of assault rifles by the rampaging Fulani herdsman.
    It is illegal under Nigerian law for anyone to carry assault rifles without
    being a serving member of the armed forces. Yemi Osinbajo said nothing about
    this obvious crime in full glare. He rather wants state police in each of the
    36 states of Nigeria as the solution. On that second ground he is wrong again.

    State Police will involve creating no fewer
    than 20 border posts in each state since the herdsmen take bush paths.
    20 border posts per state will then become battle fronts multiplied by the 36
    states in Nigeria. Fulani herdsmen are armed with assault rifles which the
    Police in Nigeria do not bear. In theory a state’s police team will be no match
    against assault-rifle-bearing Fulani militias disguised as herdsmen. It is for
    disparate weaponry that a battalion of soldiers was instead deployed to Benue
    state by the Nigerian Army whose soldiers are better-trained with assault
    rifles and grenades to overrun and neutralize the genocidal Fulani militias.

  • The Optimist

    Police or military presence helped prevent nothing in Plateau state and it is an illusion to think that their presence will guarantee any security in Benue state. This recent killing testify to it.