Herdsmen kill 24 Benue residents in 3 days

He said allowing attackers a free pass to wreck havoc will give room for impunity.

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has told a camp of Internally Displaced People (IDP), to return to their homes and defend themselves against the attacks of herdsmen who have killed and displaced many in the state.

While visiting the camp in Gwer West local government area of the state on Tuesday, April 10, 2018, the governor said allowing attackers a free pass to wreck havoc will give room for impunity.

According to the chairman of Gwer West Local Government Council of Chiefs, Chief Daniel Abomtse, 24 people were killed in attacks by herdsmen in Mbapa, Mbapupuu, Mbachohon, and Enger, all in Agagbe district in Gwer-West LGA.

While addressing displaced victims on Tuesday, Ortom urged them to return to their homes and defend themselves with stones instead of running away.

He also urged them to support security agencies to prevent attacks that have already left hundreds dead just this year alone.

He said, "David in the Bible used ordinary stone to defeat his enemy, it is now time for you to stay at home and use the stone in your homes to defend yourself instead of running away.

"I believe in the rule of law, equity and fairness, but I cannot continue to keep IDPs and l can't afford to have another IDPs in Gwer West. This must stop. We must stop truncating the future of our younger generation.

"When we allow laws to be violated and nobody takes action, it then allows for impunity and when you give room to impunity, it will result to anarchy which will in turn breed a lawless society.

"Therefore, we the citizens must rise up to support the security agencies by way of providing lawful and necessary logistics such as information, equipment and financial support to back up their operations.

"Just yesterday (Monday), a soldier was killed in Guma, security agents are not spared. Security challenges are enormous. The gruesome murder of 24 people by Fulani herdsmen is quite condemnable.

"Time has come if you are willing to live in Benue State, you must be ready and willing to be law abiding."

Benue's herdsmen crisis

Benue has been troubled by violent attacks this year as a spate of attacks by suspected cattle herders have led to the death of over 200 victims.

24 people were killed during a attack carried out on March 5 by herdsmen in Omusu Edimoga, a village in Okpokwu Local Government Area of the state.

The bodies of 73 men, women and children were buried at a mass burial ceremony organised by the state government on January 11 after several attacks by cattle herders.