By Emma Ujah, Abuja Bureau Chief
The people of Ologba Community in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State have cried out to the National Security Adviser, NSA, and the Inspector-General of the Police, IGP, to rescue them from the on-going massacre in the village.
In a petition dated April 28, 2015, appealed to the federal authorities to save their clan from being wiped out by Egba, a neighbouring clan which they claimed has carried a series of attacks against the community since 2008.
”We write this petition on behalf of our clan, our people, our posterity, requesting that you save our heritage from extinction and enforce our right to life and communal existence, as we are currently under siege in our land.”, they said.
The Widely reported April 17, 2015 massacre, in which 28 people were killed was the last in the attacks the Ologba community has suffered, they said.
According to the petition, although there has been a dispute over Ologba’s fishing ponds which the Egba community wanted to take over, not even in their wildest imagination could they have expected the dastardly attack in which defenceless women , children and the elderly were gruesomely hacked to death in cold blood, while able bodied people were on their farms and out on other business activities of the day.
The attack which was allegedly carried out by gunmen from Egba, a neighbouring community was unprecedented as defenceless women, children and the elderly were hacked to death, while their able bodied men were out on their farms and for other activities of the day.
Painting horror picture of the attack, the Ologba clan members, “It was 9 am. Suddenly, there were sporadic gun shots as heavily armed men invaded the community, shooting anyone within range of their deadly weapons as people ran for safety.
“The militia shot defenceless women, killing several instantly. Others with machetes went for a group of teenagers under a tree, hacking them down as they try to escape. As innocent people ran, they were spread with bullets.
A middle aged woman, Hajara Odoba, a middle-aged housewife and her five children were captured before they could make it out of their compound. She was made to watch each child slaughtered before before her throat was slit. She was laid down and the children placed on her corpse.
“At the end of the carnage, 28 lay dead with many of their heads cut off and several people mortality wounded. “
The Ologba people said that their people have become internally displaced and currently scattered across the Agatu Local Area and elsewhere as they take refuge with their relations in other villages.
They alleged that their village was under attacks for four consecutive days between April 17 and 20 without the intervention of any law enforcement agency and that they people could still not return to their village for fear of further attacks.
“As shocking and horrid as the above dastardly and criminal acts are , having been informed, the police at the Divisional and State Headquarters have made no arrests and there is nothing to show that they appreciate the genocidal dimension of this bloodbath and the ripple effects it is capable of generating within the area if justice is not done”, they noted.
Contacted the Benue State Police Commissioner , Mr. Hyacinth Dagala, said that the name of a prominent Egba man had been thrown up and that a discreet investigation was on-going with a view to arresting all those who were involved in the attacks.
He said that the attacks were done mainly at odd hours which made it difficult for police operations but that he had deployed additional mobile policemen to join the unit at Agatu Local Government Area with a view to restoring law and order in the area.