May 7, 2023

Armed herders kill Catechist, wife, five others in Benue

killing of herders in Plateau

By Peter Duru

A Catechist, his wife and five others were at the weekend reportedly killed by suspected armed herdsmen in three separate attacks on Governor Samuel Ortom’s village and other communities in Guma Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state.

It was gathered that the marauders invasion of Tse-Ortom, Hirnyam and Semaka communities in an unprovoked attack left several persons injured.

According to a source in the area who spoke on condition of anonymity, one of the victims was killed at Tse-Ortom, two in Semaka, while four others who included the Catechist of St. Peter Catholic Church, Hirnyam and his wife were murdered by the invaders in Hirnyam village.

He said, “in their usual pattern, the herdsmen shot the victims in the three separate attacks on Friday and after killing them, they also use cutlasses to cut them like animals. Among the victims was a Catechist, his wife, one other woman and four others.”

Contacted, the Chairman of Guma LGA, Mr. Mike Uba who confirmed the killing of the seven described it as sad and unfortunate.

Speaking through the Security Secretary of the Local Government Council, Mr. Christopher Waku, he said seven persons lost their lives in the three separate attacks in three communities.

He said “four persons died in the attack in Hirnyam; a Catechist, Dominic Dajo, his wife and two others.

“In fact, he was in his house ironing his clothes to attend Mass, when he heard gunshots, he came out and was even telling someone that they, gunmen, had killed two people already not knowing it was also going to be his own death.

“While they were in the house, the wife rushed out and she was killed. He attempted to run away but they also killed him.

“Again one woman from Ortom village was killed and, two persons were killed in Semaka village, making it seven.”

The Chairman explained that at the time of the attacks he could not reach the police on time as the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in charge of the LGA had been transfered and he was yet to get the phone number of the new DPO.

Contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene, said she was yet to receive details of the attacks.