49 Corpses for Mass Burial as Another 16 Hacked to Death in Benue
Six days after suspected herdsmen struck in six communities in Benue State, leaving about 50 persons dead, Governor Samuel Ortom, yesterday, announced that unclaimed bodies of about 49 victims of the massacre, kept in morgues across the state, would be given mass burial.
According to Ortom, the authorities was taking the step because the bodies were already decomposing. The governor, who spoke at a stakeholders’ meeting, held at the Government House, Makurdi, said three days of mourning would be observed in the state ahead of the mass burial.
Meanwhile, a community head and 15 others have been reportedly killed by suspected herdsmen in fresh attacks on Tse Akombo, Tse Vii and Tse Agule communities in Logo local government area of the state. Ortom told the stakeholders that the attack on communities in the state had made him to reconcile with former Governor Gabriel Suswam in his quest to finding solution.
He further stated that he has decided to withdraw from all political activities pending when the attacks on Benue by herdsmen were over and normalcy returned to every nook and cranny of the state. According to him, for the first time after his election in 2015, he had to pick his phone and put calls across to Suswam and former Senate President David Mark to seek their inputs on how to solve the problem of herdsmen invasion.
“I saw this problem as a problem for all Benue sons and daughters beyond party lines, which is why l decided to put sentiment aside, reconciled with relevant stakeholders and sit with them to brainstorm with a view to find lasting solution”, he said.
“’I cannot be a leader over dead people. 2019 is in God’s hand. This time, there is need for synergy, cooperation and unity among every Benue people across party lines. Therefore, I have reconcile with them, let them join me to push this fight away from Benue’’, Ortom.
He appealed to all Benue sons and daughters to team up with his administration irrespective of their tribe, religion and political affiliation to bring to an end the incessant attacks on Benue communities and gruesome killings of Benue people by herdsmen. Ortom stated that additional securitymen had been deployed to Benue even as the Deputy Inspector General of Police ((DIG) Habila Joshak had also arrived the state with a chopper for surveillance, adding that a special anti-terrorist force of the police whose operation would be beyond the shores of Benue would be arriving the state yesterday. In the latest attack, in the state, which reportedly killed 16, invaders, who, it was learnt, also razed the affected communities, left many with injuries while scores were missing or unaccounted for.
However, the state Police Command, in a statement by its Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent, ASP, Moses Yamu, confirmed the death of 10 persons in the fresh attack.
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