The Benue state government has announced its intention to organise a mass burial for victims of suspected herdsmen attacks, coming less than three months after a similar event was staged over same reason.
Media adviser to Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue state, Tahav Agerzua, disclosed that his principal ordered that the victims of the herdsmen attacks on a Benue community be buried Friday.
He said, “Governor directed that arrangement be made for mass burial by next Friday.”
The North-Central state had in January buried 73 persons who were allegedly killed by herdsmen in two local government areas.
Latest round of crisis between suspected herdsmen and residents of Omusu Edimoga in Okpokwu local government area of Benue state led to the death of 24 people.
On Tuesday, Governor Ortom ordered that the victims of the latest attacks be buried in mass graves on Friday.
Coming ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s planned visit to people of Benue over the New Year killings, the attackers invaded the community last weekend after they reportedly lost their cattle and two herdsmen.
The Benue police command said trouble started after two herdsmen were declared missing on Monday morning at about 7:30am.
Some irate youth from Omutu were said to have engaged the herdsmen in a fight, during which some of their cows were rustled.
A peace meeting was subsequently convened by the chairman of the local government, Olofu Ogwuche, and the head of the Fulani community in the area.
This was as the police were mandated to look for the missing herdsmen. Later, it was discovered that one of the herdsmen was reportedly found dead.
Ogwuche disclosed that 24 persons were killed in the incident.
The Police Public Relations Officer in Benue, Moses Yamu, narrated, in a statement, that the “herdsmen surreptitiously went on rampage, resulting in stabbing to death of 15 persons mainly women and children, while some houses were set ablaze.”
The PPRO added that four suspects have so far been arrested in connection with the incident while security has been reinforced in the affected area.