By Peter Duru, Makurdi
A group, the Turan People’s Assembly, TUPA, has raised the alarm over the recent armed herders repeated invasion of Ichembe and Mbaigbe communities, Kumakwagh Council Ward, Jato-Aka in Kwande local Government Area, LGA, of Benue State that claimed the lives of over 12 persons.
TUPA expressed worry that aside killing and sacking the locals from their ancestral land, the invaders who also inflicted injuries on many of their victims, razed their homes and properties including farm produce and farmland.
The organisation in a statement issued weekend in Makurdi by its General Coordinator, Michael Aondohemba said the unprovoked attacks came even after the tradition ruler of the area, the Mue Ter, Chief Simon Baver had raised the alarm over the activities of the marauders in the area.
He said while five bodies including those of
Tersugh Iorliam, Tersoo Samu, Ngolo Ndera, Ternenge Asaku and Udoji Penda had been identified, those of seven others were yet to be identified.
According to him, “before these attackers unleashed their fangs of terror on these hitherto peaceful communities, many people had raised early warning alarms on the influx of thousands of herdsmen into the River bank areas of these communities and called on security agencies to intervene but no help came thereby leaving our helpless, poor and innocent people vulnerable.
“Considering the destruction that accompanied these attacks, there is no doubt that there is a deliberate ploy to disturb the peace of the Turan people and throw the community into yet another round of bloodshed.
“We are thoroughly pained that these suspected herdsmen have continued to terrorise these communities despite the alarm raised by Mue Ter, Chief Simon Baver.
“As a group representing the interests of all the Turan people, both at home and abroad, we view the renewed onslaught against these communities as a scheme aimed at decimating them and gradually entrenching anarchy in Turan.
“While condoling the families of the victims and their loved ones, we call on all concerned authorities to come to our aid so that we do not take the law into our hands. We have, for too long, restrained ourselves and this should not be taken to be an act of cowardice or timidity. We are a peace-loving people and don’t want to be pushed to the wall.”
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