At least 600 people have been reportedly killed in 54 attacks on Makurdi and Gwer-West LGAs of Benue State in the last 11 years.
This was claimed by the Forum of Tyoshin Academics (FoTA) in the state at the weekend, which said that it recorded the incidents in communities where the attacks were carried out in the two LGAs: eight wards in Gwer-West LGA and two wards in Makurdi LGA.
Convener of FoTA, Pro. Joseph Kerker, and its Secretary, Dr Terkula Maga, in a statement made available to journalists in Makurdi titled: “Tyoshin Nation is Bleeding”, posited that the military were able to repel three other attacks targeted at Naka, the headquarters of Gwer-West LGA, thereby averting more deaths.
Kerker stated that during the attacks by the armed men, lives and property worth millions of naira, including worship centres, houses, schools, hospitals and bridges were destroyed.
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He noted that, “It is worthy of note that until recently, the Tyoshin nation was known for its peaceful and calm atmosphere, both for its indigenes and settlers.
“Today, however, the story is different, as armed invaders/militia have turned our land into a slaughter slab where hardly a day passes without scores being killed with reckless abandon. It is apparent, based on the unfolding events, that there is a preconceived agenda by the armed invaders and their sponsors to occupy Tyoshin land using brutal force.”
The group added that, “As of 12th February, 2023, over 600 persons from eight council wards (Mbapa, Sengev, Saghev/Ukusu, Mbachohon, Tyoughatee, Mbabuande Gaambe Ushin and Gbaange/Tongov) in Gwer West and two council wards (Modern Market and Bar) in Makurdi LGAs have been displaced from their homes and are now living in refugee camps in Naka, Makurdi and other parts of the state. This has created a serious humanitarian crisis requiring urgent attention.
“We want the world to know that the scale, magnitude, and the frequency of these attacks have assumed a new dimension that if nothing is done about it, and urgently, it may escalate into total annihilation and annexation of Tyoshin land by these armed invaders/militia.
“We are also saddened by the recent attacks which led to loss of lives of several persons of Tyoshin extraction, and that of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Gwer West LGA. No amount of provocation can justify such brutality and senseless killings.”
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