By Peter Duru, Makurdi
Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state has decried Wednesday’s attacks on Umogidi community in Otukpo Local Government Area, LGA, of the state by suspected armed herders that claimed 51 lives.
He urged the people to be calm but remain vigilant to ward off any further attacks by the marauders.
The Governor spoke separately on Friday at Adoka Centre, where persons displaced from the attacks were taking refuge, and also at Umogidi community which came under severe herders attacks in a space of 24 hours.
Represented by his Deputy, Benson Abounu, the Governor who visited the graves of victims of the attack also toured the deserted community.
While lamenting the ceaseless attacks and mindless killing of Benue people by the Fulani herdsmen militia, the Governor expressed disappointment that security agents had not been able to stop the marauding herders from committing atrocities in the state.
“I advise you all to remain calm and be security conscious and remain ever vigilant to avoid being killed like chickens.”
The Chairman of Otukpo Local Government Council, Mr. Bako Ejeh an indigene of the community who lost his son during the attack lamented that aside his son, his brother-in-law, and nephew were all killed by the armed herdsmen.
He disclosed that Wednesday’s killings “took place after we finished burying three of our people who were killed a day earlier by the terrorist herdsmen.
“It was an unprovoked attack, we had no problems with the herdsmen, that is why we cannot understand why they attacked us in such a gruesome manner.”
The Council Chairman thanked the Governor for responding to the cry of the people and appealed to security agencies to intensify patrols in the area to check for attacks.
One of the high points of the visit to Umogidi was the discovery of a 45-year housewife, Ene Ujah, who was believed to have been killed with others, having not been seen for 4 days.
The emaciated woman was found unconscious in one of the deserted rooms, frozen by fear, and unable to walk. She was brought out and resuscitated to the delight of everyone.