‘Herders’ve killed over 600 indigenes in 10 Benue council wards’

A group, Forum of Tyoshin Academics (FoTA), in Benue state on Friday declared that over 600 people had been killed in 54 attacks in 10 council wards of Makurdi and Gwer-west local government areas of the state in separate communities by herdsmen.

The group also disclosed that the deaths were recorded from eight council wards in Gwer-West LGA and two council wards of Makurdi LGA of the state in the last 11 years.

This was contained in a statement issued in Makurdi on Friday entitled; “Tyoshin Nation is Bleeding,” jointly signed by the Forum chairman and convener, Prof. Joseph Kerker and secretary, Dr. Terkula Maga.

While saying no amount of provocation could justify “such brutality and senseless killings,” the group also noted that the herdsmen during their attacks destroyed property worth millions of Naira, including worship centres, residential houses, schools, hospitals, bridges and other social amenities.

“Today, however, the story is different as armed Fulani herdsmen/militia have turned our land into a slaughter-slab where hardly a day passes without scores being killed with reckless abandon.

“It is apparent, based on the unfolding events, that there is a preconceived agenda by the armed herdsmen/militia and their sponsors to occupy Tyoshin land using brutal force. Disguised as pastoralists, the armed herdsmen/militia have an agenda, to kill, rape, maim, occupy, and annex the whole Tyoshin community.

“We want the world to know that the scale, magnitude, and the frequency of these attacks have assumed a new dimension that if nothing is done about it, and urgently, it may escalate into total annihilation and annexation of Tyoshin land by these armed herdsmen/militia.

“Despite these provocative attacks, we have always appealed to our people to exercise restraint and never take the law into their hands. This is because, we believe that the culprits will never go unpunished,” the statement read in part.