By Peter Duru
MAKURDI—After escaping the menace of marauding herdsmen, three children, housed at the Abagena internally-displaced persons, IDPs, camp in the outskirt of Makurdi, Benue State capital, were reportedly crushed to death by a truck on Makurdi-Lafia Road.
Executive Secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, Mr. Emmanuel Shior, who disclosed this in Makurdi yesterday, said the victims lost their lives weekend, while crossing the highway to the camp.
Mr. Shior said: “The victims had visited Makurdi town and were returning to the camp on a motorcycle when they met their tragic end.
“The motorbike rider was also among those who were crushed to death by the trailer on that very busy road. These were people, who ran from their communities for fear of being killed by herdsmen.
“The remains of the victims were deposited at the mortuary in Makurdi, while the driver of the truck was also arrested by the Police.”
The SEMA boss expressed worry that aside the accident, killings had continued in the state in spite of the presence of security agents and the ongoing Exercise Ayem A’ Akpatuma (Cat Race) being conducted by the Nigerian military to check herdsmen’s incursions in the state.
His words: “That is what I told the Commissioner of Police two days ago, when he came to sensitise the IDPs on the need for them to return home. I told him clearly that the appeal was not good enough.
“This is because we have cases of IDPs who went back to check whether it was safe for them to return, but they couldn’t return to the camp again, they were killed by herdsmen.
“They went to check if their places were safe for them to return. They didn’t go to carry foodstuff because we have been providing food for them: SEMA and the government provide food for them, supported by several people, individuals and groups.”