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Senate To Meet Tinubu Over Fresh Benue Attack, 30 killed

Senate

The Senate, on Wednesday, said it would meet with President Bola Tinubu over the insecurity in Benue State and Nigeria at large.

The resolution of the Senate followed the report of a militia clash in Benue State, which left no fewer than 30 dead on Tuesday.

The Senate resolution followed a motion titled: “Motion On the Continuing Killings by Suspected Terrorists Parading as Herdsmen and Increasing Insecurity in Kwande, Ukum, Logo And Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas in the Benue North-East Senatorial District Of Benue State.”

The motion was brought by Senator Emmanuel Udende, representing Benue North-East, under “Matters Of Urgent Public Importance Pursuant To Orders 41 And 51 of  the Senate Standing Orders 2023 (As Amended).”

Udende, in his lead debate, said that over 50 residents of the Logo and Katsina-Ala area of the state were killed by men who disguised as herders to unleash havoc on the communities.

It was learnt that a militia clash in the Ukum Local Government Area of Benue State on  Tuesday claimed no fewer than 30 lives, including a family of seven.

 The attack was said to have been perpetrated by rival militias led by the dreaded duo simply identified as ‘Full Fire’ and ‘Chain.’

One of the terrorist gang leaders was said to have hired the services of external bandits, invaded the Gbagir community in the Ukum LGA and engaged in a fight to oust another militia gang leader in the area.

Apples Bite” gathered that most of the dead were members of the rival militia gangs, while about 12 innocent farmers were caught in the crossfire, which also left over 30 persons injured and many others declared missing.

A traditional ruler in the area, who spoke with our correspondent on Wednesday on the condition of anonymity, for fear of being a target, said the bloody fight started Tuesday morning after a Tiv militia leader in Ukum kidnapped another Fulani militia leader, identified as Alhaji Gana.

The monarch said, Gana was kidnapped alongside his family members, who were known for banditry and kidnappings by the rival gang from neighbouring Chinkai community in Wukari LGA of Taraba State.

He said, “After kidnapping them, he asked for N100m ransom but he was given N5m. After collecting the money, he killed the hostages.

“The murder of the hostages sparked outrage among his gang members in Taraba State. This happened over the weekend.

“What followed was that another militia gang leader in Ukum now went and joined forces with the Fulani militia gang in Taraba to help them eliminate the rival gang in Ukum that killed their leader, Alhaji Gana.

“From what we gathered, over 40 persons who were mainly bandits have been killed, though we have a record of about 12 farmers who were caught in the crossfire. Over 30 others were injured while some are also missing.

“Sadly caught in the crossfire was a family of seven in Tse Adzandeh Mbasaa, Mbajiga, Ityuluv, Torov. They were all members of the Adzandeh family,” the monarch said.

On his part, the state Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Adesina, said, “So far, we have recovered five corpses but a search for people is ongoing.”

 At the Senate, the lawmaker representing Benue North-East lamented that the attack on the communities had gone unabated since Tuesday.

He said, “No fewer than 50 persons have been killed in fresh attacks on several communities in Kwande, Ukum, Logo and Katsina-Ala Local Government Areas of Benue State by terrorist parading as herdsmen;

 “The affected communities some of which were attacked as recently as yesterday, 5th March 2024 include Tyuluv, Borikyo, Kundav, Ugbaam, Uyam, Udedeku, Yaaiwa, Nyihemba, Tomatar, Menakwagh , Yiase and  Agura all in the Benue North-East Senatorial district of Benue State.

“Residents of the villages and communities now find themselves targeted daily by heavily-armed terrorist-herdsmen, and the toll continues to be staggering as they bear the brunt, with reports of marauders butchering several villagers, leaving many homes completely burnt down and numerous residents still missing while the perpetrators, however, remain elusive and have not been apprehended.”

The Senate, in its resolution, decided that its leadership will  “visit Mr president Bola Ahmed Tinubu with all the resolutions on the motion towards ending the continued killings of farmers by armed herdsmen in Benue North-East and Nigeria at large.”

The resolution further read: “Convey condolence of the season to the people of Benue North-East Senatorial District. To lead a delegation to the Governor of Benue State to find out his efforts on the and challenges.”