Again, armed militia kill six in Benue community

..traditional ruler, subjects flee for safety

..political class has failed the people – Community leader

The ongoing killings in Ukum Local Government Area, LGA, of Benue state has escalated with the reported murder of six persons including a beer parlour operator and a young man who was preparing for his wedding in the Chito community.

It was also gathered that one of the armed gangs operating in that axis of the state weekend mounted a roadblock around the Agboki settlement axis of the LGA, thereby making the Sankera -Chito -Vase road impassable.

This came on the heels of the recent bloody rival militia clashes in the LGA that claimed close to 10 lives while a market and several properties in the area were destroyed by the armed gangs.

According to the eyewitness, the development has forced the District Head of the community, Tor Ngene and his subjects to flee the community to other places for fear of being killed by the rampaging gangs who have crippled business and commercial activities in the area.

According to him: “These are areas where a lot of farming activities usually go on with the massive production of yam and other food items.

“But with the development, farmers have all abandoned their farms. No one is sure of what would happen next.

“Just this weekend,six persons including a young man who was preparing for his wedding which was scheduled for next week, was murdered in an ambush on the road while the operator of a drinking spot was also murdered in Chito by a gang after they accused the victim of hosting a rival group at the drinking spot.

“As we speak Chito has become a deserted community following indiscriminate and rampant reprisal attacks by armed gangs operating in Ukum LGA.”

Reacting, a community leader from the area, Chief Shima Ayati who confirmed the troubling development, blamed the political class for failing in their responsibilities to ensure peace in Ukum LGA.

Chief Ayati said, “I learnt people where killed again in Chito but I don’t have the exact figure but people were killed again.

“It is unfortunate that this is happening. After the last elections people from that area were elected into various positions, we have the Senator, State Assembly member and others but some of us are disturbed that we are not hearing anything from these elected people over this matter in order to put an end to it.

“The entire thing is fearful. We do not know if a fifth columnist is behind it. As far as I am concerned, we have failed the people because politics is meant to proffer solutions to such things and if up till now we have been unable to proffer a solution to this issue of banditry, it is then very unfortunate.

“Before now we used to blame this on Fulani herdsmen, but what are they saying now? It is a shame. In fact, some of us have lost our voices, it is worrisome.”

When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Superintendent, SP, Catherine Anene said she was yet to receive any report on the incident.

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