…Victims mostly women and children
…Tiv leaders cry for help
In what is becoming a weekly sordid ritual, 61 persons were, over the weekend, killed in separate dastardly incidents in Benue and Zamfara States.
Whereas 31persons, mostly women and children, lost their lives in six communities of Guma Local Government Area of Benue State in the hands of suspected herdsmen, another 30 were massacred in Maru Local Government Area of Zamfara State, by suspected gunmen.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that 25 persons were killed in coordinated attacks on Tse-Abi, Tse-Ginde, Tse-Peviv, Tse-Ikyo, Agenke and Gbenke communities of Unzughul, Saghev Council Ward in Guma; the killings were said to have commenced from late Friday to the early hours of Saturday.
82 houses were razed by the herdsmen during their orgy of killings in the affected areas of Benue State.
Still in Benue, a bloody clash of rival political and cult groups in Otukpo Local Government Area of the state, accounted for six of the deceased 31.
An eye witness to the Zamfara killings, Mr Shuaibu Kabaro, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Maru, that the suspected gunmen attacked the two communities and the incident was immediately reported to the security agents.
He said three of the bandits were arrested by security agents following the prompt report of the incident to the security personnel.
According to a resident of one of the affected communities, some of the invaders who stormed the communities were dressed in military fatigue and armed with sophisticated weapons.
“They came around 10pm and started shooting sporadically, killing people and razing houses and hurts in the communities.
“People ran for their lives but many, especially women and children, could not escape the rage of the assailants. While some were butchered, several others were gunned down in cold blood – including two children of a Makurdi-based pastor who traveled home for holidays.
“After the attack, the invaders as usual retreated. It is a sorry sight in the communities, scores sustained injuries, many of the houses are still burning as I speak with you.
“The invaders also looted the valuables and food of their helpless victims.”
The Benue State Government, in a statement through the Chief Press Secretary, CPS, to the Governor, Mr. Terver Akase confirmed the attack.
The statement read in part, “I can confirm that herdsmen last night and earlier today invaded Saghev Ward of Guma Local Gvernment Area, killing many innocent persons.