Gunmen kill 37 in community attack

Gunmen have launched attack on Igama community in Benue State on Sunday while residents were preparing for the early morning Mass, killing 37 of them, with the recovered corpses already deposited St Mary’s General Hospital, Okpoga, the headquarters of Okpokwu Local Government, as at the time of this report.

Penpushing reports that, one of the residents, Ambrose Adah who narrowly escaped death, while narrating his experience said the attackers raided the community while he and his family were preparing for Mass.

The survivor lamented that during the gunmen attack at the agrarian community, located in Okpokwu Local Government area, is 160 kilometres from Makurdi, the Benue State capital, his home and valuables were destoyed.

“While we were preparing for the early morning Mass on Sunday, herdsmen in large numbers riding on motorbikes, invaded our community. Members of our community mostly women and youths were killed during the attack’, Adah said.

“So far 37 corpses have been recovered and presently deposited at St Mary’s General Hospital, Okpoga,” the headquarters of Okpokwu Local Government. My three-bedroom bungalow and other valuables were destroyed by the herdsmen’ Adah emphasized

“Dozens of houses were razed to the ground,” while over 500 hundred residents who were displaced by the attack are seeking shelter at Ojigo ward, and other neighbouring communities’, the lucky survivor stated.

Penpushing further reports that, Adah posited that, to forestall any other attacks, the Nigerian government should station a military base in the area, which has become prone to terrorists attack.

The federal lawmaker representing Ado, Ogbadibo and Okpokwu federal constituency, Francis Otta, while corroborating Adah’s claim pointed out that thirty persons were killed in the attack on the Igama community.

“Growing up in Utonkon District of Ado LGA, I knew Igama in Ojigo Ward of Okpokwu LGA as one of the most peaceful communities in Benue South until recently when terrorists turned it to a cesspool of blood,” Ottah said.

Penpushing also reports that, the lawmaker who condemned the killing of the innocent residents, and still counting, said he has contacted security agents over the ugly development, adding that, the operatives have responded.

The chairperson of Okpokwu Local Government, Amina Audi confirmed the incident, stating that only 12 corpses have been recovered, affirming that the gunmen ravaged the two communities– Igama and Efeche.

Penpushing reports that, Audi said hundreds of people have been displaced by the attack, adding that the attack has occasioned a humanitarian crisis, not just at Igama but at Opialu, Ojigo and Utonkon, where survivors have fled to, adding that security operatives comprising the police, military and vigilantes, are patrolling the affected communities.

The Benue State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Sewuese Anene, when contacted and in response through a text message to journalists confirmed the attack, but could not provide details on the casualties.

“Information was received about the attack in Okpokwu LGA and more teams were mobilized to assist the Division on the ground. I am yet to receive details from the team on the ground”, police spokesman stated

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