Benue Church Killings Vile, Satanic, Buhari Says

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday described as “vile, evil and satanic” the killing of worshippers and two priests at a Catholic church in Ukpor-Mbalom community in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State.

The President’s position was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina.

Buhari described the killing of priests and worshippers as a calculated attempt to initiate religious conflict and plunge communities into endless bloodletting

He said the country under his leadership would not bow to the machinations of evildoers.

He promised that the assailants would be hunted down and made to pay for the sacrilege committed.

The President said, “I extend my sincere condolences to the government and people of Benue State, the Mbalom community, and especially the Bishop, priests and members of the St Ignatius’ Catholic Church, whose premises was the unfortunate venue of the heinous killings by gunmen.

“This latest assault on innocent persons is particularly despicable.

“Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshippers is not only vile, evil and satanic, it is clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting.”

Two Priest, Worshippers Dead As Herdsmen Renew Attacks On Benue

Armed herdsmen, on Tuesday morning attacked St. Ignatius Quasi Parish Ukpor-Mbalom in Ayar-Mbalom community of Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State, killing two Catholic priests and 17 other worshipers.

Our Correspondent gathered that the attackers also burnt down over 100 houses during the attack and sacked the entire community.

The attack came barely four days after the murder of ten persons by herdsmen in Guma Local Government Area and the destruction of several houses by men suspected to be military personnel in Naka, Gwer West Local Government Area of the state.

Most of the victims were attacked while coming from morning mass.

Suspected Herdsmen Kill 10 In Fresh Benue Attack

At least 10 residents were killed when suspected armed herdsmen invaded Saghev Ward in Guma Local Government Area of Benue State.

The state government confirmed the attack and the casualty figure on Saturday in a statement by Mr Terver Akase, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Samuel Ortom.

According to them, many innocent persons are feared killed during the attack which started on Friday night and lasted until the early hours of the next day.

The communities affected by the invasion are Tse-Abi, Tse-Ginde, Tse-Peviv, Tse-Ikyo, Agenke and Gbenke.

“Ten corpses have so far been recovered with many others injured. The armed herdsmen also burnt numerous houses, shops and other property in the area.

“This mindless attack was unprovoked, and we urge security agencies to arrest the herdsmen behind the killings for prosecution,” the statement read.

However, the police authorities in Benue have yet to issue any statement concerning the attack.

Police Arraign 28 Suspects Linked To Benue Herdsmen Killing

The Benue State Police Command has arraigned 28 persons allegedly involved in the killing of 10 herdsmen in the state.

The herders were among the passengers attacked by hoodlums on Saturday near Yelwata village, along Lafia-Makurdi Highway in Guma Local Government Area of the state.

Counsel to the complainants, Mr Tijani Ahmed, confirmed that the suspects were arraigned on Monday in an interview with newsmen at the Magistrate Court Five, Makurdi, the state capital.

He asked the police to urgently conclude their investigation and allow timely determination of the case, which has been adjourned till April 24 for mentioning.

Speaking for the prosecution, the Commissioner of Police in Benue, Mr Fatai Owoseni, said the arraignment was to serve as a deterrent to any group of persons or bandits who would contemplate the act of criminality of any kind in the state.

President Buhari Does Not Condone Incompetence, Says Adesina

The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, has said President Muhammadu Buhari is a leader who gives no room for incompetence.

Adesina, as a guest on Channels Television’s Programme, Sunrise Daily on Tuesday, said contrary to some reports that the President was slow to action, seeks justice diligently and doesn’t allow innocent people be sacrificed unjustly.

“If you know the President, you will know that he is a man that is loyal to those who are loyal to him.

“He does not excuse incompetence. If a man is incompetent, he is incompetent. But a man does not have to be sacrificed unjustly that is what the President is saying. If it is proven that the man is incompetent, and he has failed, then there is no reason to keep that person.”

The Presidential aide also confirmed that the action of the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris on the order given him by the President to relocate to Benue State came as ‘news.’

President Buhari during his condolence visit to Benue State on Monday said he is surprised to hear that the IGP allegedly relocated to Nasarawa State after he was ordered to relocate to Benue State to prevent the herdsmen-farmers crisis in the state from escalating.

“The allegation came up at the meeting yesterday (Monday) that he stayed only one day in Benue and moved to Nasarawa. It was news to the President, what follows, we have to just wait (for the police to react),” Adesina said.

 

He explained further that the President as the Commander-in-Chief can relate with anybody he wants directly but the report that the IGP spent a day in Benue is in the ‘realm of allegations.

Reacting to questions on if the President does not monitor daily events in the country, Adesina said Buhari receives media highlights daily and also read the newspapers ‘religiously.’

Herdsmen, Farmers In Fresh Benue Clash, 16 killed.

Sixteen persons including, a herdsman were on Monday killed in a fresh clash at Omutu community in Okpokwu local government area of Benue state.

Barely 24 hours after two persons were killed by herdsmen in Humeger, Guma local government area of the state, the gruesome killing began.

According to a statement coming from the Benue State Police Command spokesman, ASP, Moses Yamu, the victims were mostly women and children.

Yamu in a statement made available to our correspondent on Tuesday morning said that the attack was a reprisal after some youths in the community went berserk, attacked Fulani herdsmen and ‘maimed’ some cows.

“We received information from the security adviser of Okpokwu local government that some irate youths from Omutu engaged some herdsmen in a fight, maiming some cows while two herdsmen were missing.

“A peace meeting was immediately convened by the Council Chairman and the head of Fulani community in the area while a police search party went in search of the two missing herdsmen, one of whom was found dead.”

“Unfortunately, as the search and peace meeting were on going, some herdsmen went on a rampage, hacking  15 persons – mostly women and children, to death while some houses were set ablaze.

The Police spokesman said four suspects had been arrested in connection with the killings, adding that ‘extensive’ patrol of the community was ongoing and to be reinforced by special forces.

Three Killed In Fresh Attack On Benue Community

 

Three persons have been confirmed killed while many others are still missing following Thursday night attack on Tsokwa village in Anyii, Logo Local Government Area by some armed men.

The Chairman of Logo local government, Nyajo Richard, told Channels Television on Friday morning that the attackers suspected to be herdsmen stormed the village around 8:00 pm in large number shooting at different directions and burning down houses in the village, in the process.

One of the villagers died at the scene of the attack while two victims who were rescued died in the process of reviving them.

 

Three other survivors are currently receiving treatment at the local NKST hospital in Anyii, Logo Local Government Area of the state.

The Local Government Chairman explained further that the Divisional Police Officer has mobilised policemen to the community for recovery operations and to search for those who are still missing since the attack.

As at the time of filing this report, the Commissioner of Police is yet to respond to the fresh attack, as calls put through to his mobile phone could not go through.

Many villagers were killed on January 1, 2018, where some armed men attacked Logo Local Government Area. The survivors have been displaced from their homes as they remain largely at various IDP camps in the local government because their villages are still not safe for their return.

Beneu Killings: Sack Police IG Now – Group Tells Buhari

The Tiv Professional Group (TPG) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, over his incompetence and complacency. The group made the call through its Chairman Prof. Zacharys Anger Gundu.

Speaking to newsmen, Gundu said the demand was in reaction to an alleged, “genocide and planned ethnic cleansing of Benue people and other ethnic minorities by some herders militia.”

He alleged that IGP Idris had compromised in his duties and open partisanship with herders as he recalled that while the gunmen carried out attacks in virtually all six geopolitical zones of the country, Benue communities alone had been attacked 49 times in five years.

Gundu said the attacks led to the deaths of thousands of people, destruction of homesteads, schools, farms and urged the Federal Government to accept the global best practice of ranching as done by Gorvernor Samuel Ortom.

Why I Stand With Buhari By Femi Adesina

These are very difficult times in our country. Sad, mournful and dolorous times, as the New Year opened with killings in Rivers, Kaduna, Taraba, and Benue states, among others. Of course, there had been gruesome carnage on the Mambilla plateau mid last year, and bloodletting in Numan, Adamawa State, as well as in other places. Hell suddenly seemed to have enlarged itself against Nigeria. Sincere condolences to those who are grieving and mourning the loss of loved ones.

But instead of finding solutions, and joining to chart the way forward, some people are making political capital out of the killings. They are trying to use the orgy of bloodshed to advance their political interests, wanting to make it appear that it is a failure of the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Faults are thick where love is thin. There is prejudice in Nigeria. Plenty. There is insularity, in prodigious quantity. There is animus, antipathy against anyone that is not of your ethnic or religious stock, or that belongs to a different political orientation or persuasion. If you meet him, kill him, if you can’t catch him, poison his footsteps, seems to be the singsong among some people. And as the build up to general elections next year gathers momentum, matters are made worse. Everything must be politicized, including wanton killings. There must be spurious handshakes across the Niger, and across the Benue, all for political gains.

But I stand with Buhari, and will always do. Why won’t you? Your snout is in the honeypot, licking the nectars of office, some cynics would say. Really? My bank balances do not indicate so. It is not just about money. It is about conviction. It is about believing in a man who can bring enduring change to our country, if we allow God to have His way through him.
Standing with Buhari through thick and thin is not about money, or the spoils of office, which are not even available in these lean times. In or out of my present position, I stand with Buhari. Sir Walter Scott wrote: “Other people’s resolutions may fluctuate on the wild and changeful billows of human opinion. Ours, now and forever, are anchored on the Rock of Ages.” In or out of government, I stand with Buhari. Why? You will get to know shortly.

There is strident attempt to defame, demean and de-market the Buhari government today. Who are those behind it? The crooks, thieves, freeloaders, who want business as usual. They hate probity. Their souls abhor accountability. They prefer the plunder of the past years, and can’t wait to see that epoch return. They engage in all sorts of misinformation and disinformation. Hate speeches. Fake news. Under us, you had leeks, onions and garlic to eat. You were fed manna till you wanted no more. When you were tired of the fluffy stuff, we gave you meat, you gorged yourself so much, till meat began to come out of your noses. They wouldn’t tell you about what William Shakespeare calls “the goodly apple, but rotten at the cheek.”

They won’t tell you about humongous amounts of money made from oil, which stood at over $100 dollars per barrel for about six years, and which they looted to the last cent. Foreign reserves; depleted. Excess Crude Account; looted. Federation Account; plundered. They turned the country to a wasteland, leaving an economy primed for recession. But deftly and sure-footed, the Buhari administration is building a new foundation for the economy, erecting an edifice that will stand the test of time, not a bubble that collapses with just a pinprick, not a will-o-the-wisp that vanishes in the midday sun.

That is why I stand with Buhari, and have stood with him since he was a military leader in the 1980s. I can trust this President. I can go to bed, knowing that my leader is not striking deals to fleece the country in the dead of night. I can trust that every money that comes into the coffers of Nigeria, will be used for the good of Nigerians. Am I saying it is a perfect administration? Such has not been forged from the smithy of the divine powers.

Every human enterprise will have its shortcomings, but on Buhari I still stand. I stand with him, and by him, any day.

Some people ask themselves: can we afford to be outside government for another four years from 2019? We would be dead! No access to the public treasury, which we know how well to abuse and plunder? To ravage and savage. They have spat into the sky, and collected the spittle with their faces. Rather than let Buhari be, we would employ all the tricks in the books. Defame, demean, de-market him. Is he not Fulani? He is supporting herdsmen causing murder and mayhem round the country. Trumpet it from the rooftops, even without a scintilla of evidence. He is sectional, and bent on Islamizing the country. He is fighting a one sided anti-corruption war. His war against insurgency is a fluke, not winnable.

They refuse to see massive investments in infrastructure, which would burst into full bloom in another year or two. Roads, rail, power. They refuse to see the rebounding economy, strides in agriculture and mining, all with good auguries for the future. They refuse to acknowledge the stock market, which recently recorded N15.78 trillion, the highest in the history of the country. What of N1.3 trillion spent on capital projects in 2016? And almost the same amount for 2017? No, they rather imagine how much of that amount they would have pocketed if they were in power, living in obscene luxury, while the rest of the country went to hell, if it wanted. They refuse to see the good things happening to the country. And none is as blind as those who deliberately refuse to see. All these and more are the reasons I stand with Buhari, and will always do. So that Nigeria can have a future and a hope. Our own Canaan, flowing with milk and honey.

After primitive fury was unleashed in Benue, and about 73 people were left dead, a sitting President eyeing reelection could also play politics with it, visiting and muttering the right words to impress the people. Nothing wrong. But for President Buhari, action speaks louder than words. Action stations, he told the security agencies. The Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of Operations was first despatched, then the Minister of Interior, the Inspector General of Police himself, and then the Nigerian Army. Consultations were held with the governor of the state, with Benue elders, and now, a committee headed by the Vice President, made up of nine governors, has been set up to proffer solutions to farmers/herdsmen clashes. Action truly speaks louder than words.

President Buhari has not thrown his hat officially into the ring for a second term in office. But they are in mortal fear of him running. Therefore, they do all they can to dissuade him. Malign him, paint him black, devalue him before the electorate. But they don’t know that there are many devices in the hearts of men, but only the counsel of God shall stand. If God has ordained President Buhari to be in power beyond 2019, human effort to stop it can only end in futility.

I stand with Buhari, because it is solid ground for Nigeria. All other ground I see, at least for now, is sinking sand. For us, for our children, for generations yet unborn, Buhari is engendering a new country, whose builder and maker is God. Let the wailers wail; endlessly. Let the heathens rage; till they render themselves hoarse. Let them throw even the kitchen sink at him, they did worse in the build up to 2015. I stand with Buhari. I know his heart for Nigeria, and for Nigerians. Let people shed their prejudices. Let them eschew hate, and purge themselves of all malice. The future can only then be written in gold.

Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity

We Are Still Living In Fear, Ortom Tells APC Govs

Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue, on Friday, said that people of the state live in fear and still under siege of Fulani herdsmen.

Ortom stated this while receiving northern and All Progressive Congress governors led by the chairman, governors forum, Shetima Kashim, at the new banquet hall, Makurdi.

In attendance were five governors; Shetima Kashim, (Borno), Simon Lalong, (Plateau), Mallam El Rufai, (Kaduna), Yahaya Bello, (Kogi) and Mohamad Abubakar, (Jigawa) as well as deputy governor of Osun state, Chief Mrs Grace Titilayo Tomori.

Ortom said that the fear of the people stemmed from continuous threat by the herdsmen who despite the killings still issued threat on daily basis to take over Benue land.

According to him, “we thank God that peace is gradually returning to the state but there are still pockets of challenges here, we know the challenges will soon be over because our people are always alert to give useful information to security operatives around”.

“Let me tell you that our people are still living in fear and under siege; living in fear because of the series of threat by Kautal Hore which started the threat since seven months ago, they are not mere threat.

“We have evidence against them, what we are saying is that federal government should arrest the leadership of Kautal Hore”.

Governor Ortom who appreciated the visit said that the state is committed to one Nigeria and assured president Buhari of the state’ s committed to his administration.

The governor, however, expressed confidence that Nigeria will soon take its rightful position as the giant of Africa if leaders are sincere and stand by the truth.

“This country is blessed with great potentials to be great in the world and that is if we leaders should stop pretending but stand by the truth.”

BREAKING: Six Killed In Fresh Attacks On Benue Communities

Suspected herdsmen have killed six people in fresh attacks on Benue communities.

The attacks were said to have been on communities in Logo, Guma and Okpokwu Local Government Areas of Benue State.

Governor Samuel Ortom confirmed the attacks on Wednesday when he received a former military administrator of the state, Brigadier General Dominic Oneya (retd), at the Government House in Makurdi.

Oneya (rtd) had led a delegation on a condolence visit to the governor.