Army Explains Why Benue Community Was Razed

Army Explains Why Benue Community Was Razed
  • PublishedApril 20, 2018


The Nigerian Army has explained what led to the burning down of a Benue community by its troops on Wednesday, saying the attack followed the killing of one soldier by some residents.

The soldier was allegedly buried in a shallow grave a day before, but the apparent reprisal by the army resulted in the death of one elderly citizen who was killed in the blaze.

Pictures of his charred body covered in soot was sent to newsmen.

There were reports of the attack by irate soldiers who stormed Naka, the headquarters of Gwer West Local Government Area, burning down residential buildings and commercial stores. Properties and goods, especially cash crops, estimated in millions were destroyed during the incident.

Francis Ayagah, chairman of the local government, had told journalists on Thursday afternoon that Nigerian soldiers were responsible for the arson.

He acknowledged that a soldier was killed in the community on Wednesday, but said he had been in touch with the commander of the troops, who were stationed near the town to check ongoing killings linked to herdsmen across Benue State.

The soldier was said to have been alone when he was killed in unclear circumstances Wednesday afternoon.

One account said he was roaming on a farmland near the community and was lynched by hoodlums who mistook him for an attack. There have been reports that some killers were sighted in military fatigues in the state over the past week.

Another account said the slain soldier went to buy bread in large quantity in the community and when asked to identity himself by curious residents, he declined to do so and was subsequently assumed to be an attacker and mobbed to death.

Mr Ayagah said five suspects had been arrested based on information received from the Army, expressing his dismay that the soldiers could still embark on a rampage across the town despite his cooperation.

1 Comment

  • Even without that, they have been waiting for such opportunity to kill Tiv people. Army are responsible for the majority of the attacked in Benue and Taraba.

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