Mar, 26, 2014
Gunmen who have been on a killing spree in Benue State yesterday extended their rampage to two more local government areas of the state, killing more than 60 persons and burning many houses, according to residents.
This time, they moved their arsenal to Agena village, Mbayion in Ikpayongo district of Gwer LGA, a community very close to Makurdi, the state capital and started shooting residents freely. The Ikpayongo killings took place yesterday while that of Adeka village in Oweto of Agatu LGA took place Monday.
Residents said many people including women and children who escaped the bullets were massacred with machetes at Ikpayongo yesterday.
“We had barely gotten up from bed when we heard sounds of gunshots in our village. Before we could say anything we realised that the entire village had been surrounded by armed men. They were shooting at us as we scampered for safety in different directions. We do know where they came from or what we have done to deserve this unwarranted attack. More than 60 bodies have already been taken away by government officials and the number is still counting,” a resident said.
A source at the Federal Medical Centre, Makurdi told our correspondent that the corpses were many but could not confirm the exact number as more were still being brought to the morgue at the time of speaking with him. Police Public Relations’ Officer, Daniel Ezeala said at the time of filing this report that seven corpses had been recovered and deposited in the mortuary.
“Some hoodlums suspected to be herdsmen attacked a village in Ikpayongo, (a 10-minute drive from Makurdi town) and started shooting at people on sight and burning down houses”, he said, but noted that normalcy had returned to the area following the deployment of police officers who drove the attackers away. He said investigation into the incident had commenced.
Four persons were killed in Adeka village, Oweto of Agatu LGA Monday afternoon when gunmen invaded the local market and unleashed terror. The member representing the area in the state House of Assembly, Sule Audu, said 25 houses were also set ablaze by the attackers. On Monday, deputy governor Chief Steven Lawani said a security report had revealed that the attackers who have unleashed mayhem in several communities in the state were terrorists from the North-east, and while countless calls have been made to stop the killings, neither the state nor the federal government appear in any position to find a solution. An apparently confused Governor Gabriel Suswam before now complained of inadequate security personnel in the state, warning of a possible tribal war if the killings continue.