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Insecurity: Death toll rises to 9 in attacks on Benue communities

Insecurity: Death toll rises to 9 in attacks on Benue communities
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Written by Maritime First

…As Miyetti Allah says ‘We will extend sensitisation to other Southeast states’***

The Police Command in Benue on Sunday said the death toll from Saturday’s gunmen attack on mourners in Katsina-Ala Local Government Area of the state has risen to nine.

The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Catherine Anene highlighted this in Makurdi, adding that the police were still investigating the circumstances surrounding the attack and its aftermath.

Anene explained that four persons were killed at the burial of Tor Gbev Amaafu in Tongov while additional five were killed during reprisal attacks by Amaafu, Sati Agirigi and Ikurav Tiev communities.

She said the killings were suspected to be the frequent clashes between Ikurav and Shitile people in the area in recent times.

“The clash cut across three villages. There is no reason for these attacks. Several peace meetings with the communities have yielded no positive results,” Anene said.

An eyewitness said the gunmen, numbering more than 10 opened fire on the mourners, killing and injuring several persons in the process, in the early hours of Saturday, as a result of which four persons lost their lives on the spot while several others sustained severe injuries.

The area has witnessed serious criminal activities in the past four years.

In another development, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), South East zone says it will extend the shutdown of cattle markets and settlement in other states in the zone in the bid to purge itself of the violent elements.

Alhj. Gidado Siddiki, Southeast Zonal Vice President of MACBAN disclosed this while speaking to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Awka on Sunday.

It would be recalled that Miyetti Allah in collaboration of Northern Elders in Enugu shutdown operations in cattle market and settlements for two days to sensitise its members against violence.

Also read: CAN to Miyetti-Allah: Call your violent members to order

Siddiki said the action was neither a threat nor protest but an attempt to address the numerous accusation on Fulani Herdsmen over their involvement in crime and rape in the area from within.

He said the Enugu shutdown was successful as a number of persons among them who did not have business with herding or other legitimate activities had been asked to leave their fold.

“We shutdown livestock and perishable good markets to enable us sensitise our members on the need for peaceful coexistence, that they should be watchful to know when bad people infiltrate their midst and to chase them.

“We have told them to belong to a group, those selling cattle, those selling goats, those carrying goods; everybody has to be identified by the leader of their group, even in the Fulani settlement, people has to be known with their families.

“If there are people in these places who don’t have business, we are telling them to leave Enugu and the entire Southeast because we want to know those who are among us, so it is an internal audit,” he said.

Siddiki, who is also the leader of Fulani community in Anambra, commiserated with families of those who lost their loved ones in recent violent attack in Enugu and expressed the commitment of his members to ensuring that there was recurrence.

He said it had been observed that most of the troubles were caused by migrant herders while calling on his members to stop migrating from state to state within the Southeast.

He the sensitisation would continue to the local government level of Enugu after which they would move to other states.

“We want to condole with the families of those that lost their loved ones; we want to assure them that we are worried about the development.

“We started with Enugu as the regional head of Southeast but we are going into other states of Abia, Ebonyi, Anambra and Imo to ensure that the message gets to our members everywhere already, our members in these states are waiting for us.

“We have identified that those causing problems among the Fulani are the migrants; that is why we are saying that migration should stop, people should stay where they are and graze their cattle,” he said.

 

 

 

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