Dambazau SIGNAL

We Will Deal With Perpetrators of Violence in Agatu – Dambazau

Nigeria’s Interior Minister, Abdurrahman Dambazau, has vowed to deal with the perpetrators of violence in Agatu community, Benue state, where hundreds were killed weeks ago by suspected herdsmen.

Former Senate President David Mark said Saturday that over 500 people were killed and 10 communities in Agatu LGA razed in what seemed like a “genocide”.

In a statement Monday, Mr. Dambazau commiserated with the government and people of Benue State and said the government would deal “decisively” with perpetrators.

The comment came more than two weeks after the attacks, and was the second official reaction by the Nigerian government. President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier ordered an investigation into the killings.

“Minister of Interior has received with shock the sad news of incessant attacks on innocent Nigerians in Agatu and other Communities in Benue State by unknown gunmen,” a statement by Osaigbovo Ehisienmen, the chief press secretary to the minister, read.

The statement said Mr. Dambazau had earlier directed the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, to carry out an on-the-spot assessment of the situation in the communities. It said the government would not relent in its responsibility to protect its people.

The statement said the perpetrators of the dastardly acts were “unwittingly testing the will and capabilities” of the government, and that the present administration would not fail in its duties to ensure the security and welfare of the people as enshrined in the Constitution.

“The Minister has therefore vowed to mobilize security forces to decisively deal with the perpetrators of these dastardly acts,” the statement said.

“To this end, the nation’s Interior Minister has directed the Inspector General of Police and other Heads of Security Agencies under the Ministry to synergize with other security services to speedily arrest this ugly tread and bring its perpetrators to justice,” the statement said.

Since news of the genocidal massacre broke, neither President Buhari nor the governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom have visited the community. The Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase was reported to have visited Makurdi, the Benue State capital where he vowed to fish out the culprits. Makurdi is about 300km from Agatu community where at least nine villages have been completely sacked.

Former Senate President and senator representing Benue South senatorial district, the senatorial zone that covers Agatu, Senator David Mark visited all nine village on Friday to carry out a first hand assessment of what happened. He described the scene of the attacks as “shocking beyond words.”

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