At least seven people were on Tuesday killed in an early morning attack on Abagena Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Makurdi Local Government Area of Benue State.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Benue command, DSP Catherine Anene, confirmed the attack.
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Our correspondent reports that several people were also injured during the attack on the IDPs at about 1 am and another which took place in Mbatoho Chile island of Makurdi at 3 am on Tuesday.
Residents blamed the attack on suspected armed herders while angry youth protested and blocked the Makurdi-Lafia road with the corpses, making it difficult for motorists to ply the route for many hours as they also made bonfires.
The protesters called on President Muhammadu Buhari to as a matter of urgency live up to his responsibility of protecting Nigerians or else they would be forced to resort to self-help.
But, with the intervention of Governor Samuel Ortom, the youths opened the road to allow free traffic flow while most of the IDPs were seen deserting the camp.
Governor Ortom, who described the attack on the IDP camp as inhuman, barbaric and unacceptable, called for urgent action against the activities of militia herders across the country.
He expressed worry that in the past two weeks, at least 70 persons had been killed across three local government areas of the state – Makurdi, Guma and Gwer West.
Ortom, in an interview with journalists in Makurdi shortly after his on-the-spot assessment visit to the camp, expressed fear that Nigeria was gradually degenerating into a ‘banana republic’.
“What is happening now is unacceptable and can’t continue. Mr President must rise up to address the nation himself, not Garba Shehu. Mr President must tell us where we are going in this country. I have written to him severally over the activities of these people.
“My colleagues, the governors must arise to call a security summit to ensure a state of emergency is declared on security to address this matter.
“We must salvage it otherwise, we will wake up tomorrow and there would be no country. Imagine if I wasn’t here this morning that the major road is being blocked. We cannot allow the youths to take over the place. And that is what they are agitating for now. We are fed up, we don’t want to resort to self-help but that is where we are right now because the security architecture is being overstretched.”
Meanwhile, the victims of Tuesday’s attack on Abagena IDPs camp in Benue State have recounted their ordeal at the hands of their attackers.
Our correspondent spoke with some of them who were injured and hospitalised at BSUTH in Makurdi.
David Avase, who was seen at the hospital with his four-year-old injured son, narrated that they were asleep about 1 am when gunshots rented the air.
Another victim, Ohilam Gwaza, an octogenarian, who was shot on the breast and sustained injuries on other parts of her body was being attended to by medical personnel at the time our correspondent visited the hospital.