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Several people killed, houses burnt as bandits take over Benue

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Many people have lost their lives as suspected armed herders invaded some communities in the Apa Local Government Area of Benue State.

The invading armed herders were also reported to have burned several houses in some communities, as villagers were said to have fled their homes.

Locals claimed that the figure of casualties hovers around 25, but the lawmaker representing the area in the state assembly, Abu Umoru, said he had lost count of casualties.

Umoru said about 95 per cent of communities in the local government have been desolate following the constant attacks.

According to him, “About 95 per cent of a section of my community is displaced, and I can mention them.

“The entire Edikpo Community has been displaced; the entire Opaha, where I come from; nobody in that community; Odugbo; nobody is there; Akpete; Ikobi; Akpata; Idiaha; Ochumekwu; Adiga; nobody is in those communities.

Every day, they will be burning houses in Akpete. As I speak to you, for three consecutive days, they have been going to Akpete and burning houses after chasing them out of their ancestral homes.

“They have been laying ambush, killing people—one, two, three, to five—on a daily basis.

“Right now, I don’t know the number of casualties. It’s so many.

Umoru added, “I have gone to my communities to sympathise with my people, and because of the killings, I have developed a problem that I have to go to the hospital for a checkup.

“The killings are terrible. Even yesterday, on the highway around Nasarawa Toto leading to Oweto up to Otukpo, between a village called Ojantele and Orozo, Fulani put their cows on the road for hours, with no movement until the Hausa people who travel on these big trucks came down and were talking to them before they barricaded the road.

“These killings have gone beyond us. Our representatives at the National Assembly have moved motions multiple times without numbers, but what has happened? Whom do we cry to? We need to cry to God.

“It’s a pathetic situation. I don’t know what to do. I am armless; I’m speechless. Sometimes I ask myself why I should contest. I can’t use my personal resources to go and do anything anywhere.

“If people are not happy or settled, how do you impact their lives? How many people can you feed? If they are in their villages, it’s very easy for you to reach them, but if they are not there, how can you take a solar system there?

“Last time some people who were working in the high institution were ambushed on the road, opened fire, and killed two of them.”

Meanwhile, the Police Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene, said she did not have a report of the situation.

“No, please; I don’t have reports on these attacks,”  Anene said.

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