30 Killed as Unknown Gunmen Attack Zaki Ibiam Town in Benue


George Okoh in Makurdi
The security situation in Benue State is worsening by the day as unknown gunmen yesterday killed about 30 residents of Zaki Ibiam town in Ukum Local Government Area of the state.
The incident occurred around the Zaki Ibiam yam market.

Most of those killed were said to be traders and businessmen.
According to an eyewitness, the attack started around 2p.m., adding that “the gunmen stormed the yam market on about 12 Bajaj motorcycles and four Toyota Corolla cars and started shooting at anyone in sight.”

Several cars and a fuel station were also razed as pandemonium engulfed the area.
The eyewitness described the incident as a bloodbath.
When contacted, the state Commissioner of Police, Bashir Makama, confirmed the killings but stated that the police were yet to ascertain the exact number of casualties.

Meanwhile, as the killings were going on, Governor Samuel Ortom was giving a run down of the security situation in state and measures taken by his  government  to bring an end to  the invasion and attacks by herdsmen on innocent people of the state.

He stated that his decision to expel Fulani herdsmen in the affected areas of the state was to pave the way for  Tiv farmers to continue their farming activities.

Ortom insisted that it was impossible  for herdsmen and farmers to operate  in harmony, pointing out that his administration would not fold its arms and allow people fall prey to foreigners and killers and it was his government’s responsibility to ensure security for the people

The governor further cautioned against confrontations as the herdsmen make their way out of the state, adding that the security operatives would ensure they move out safely to where they came from.
Also speaking with the residents, the state police commissioner, on behalf of other security agencies, called for caution among youths and urged them to restrain themselves from resorting to violence at the slightest provocation but to remain patient.

Makama promised that the security agencies would not relent in the discharge of their duties.

  • Shysocket

    Genocide is happening in the middle belt

  • peace

    Just saw the pictures of this massacre and can’t believe my eyes. Not even wild animals could be this violent and these are supposed to be neighbours . Something is terribly wrong with the security apparatus in this banana republic if this kind of genocide is being committed in broad daylight and the killers where not engaged by anybody while they took more than an hour to turn an open market into a war zone .

  • Okwuchukwu David

    Is this the change they voted for?

    We call on the United Nations, its Security Council, and ICC, to carry out urgent and thorough investigations into the ravaging of Southern part of Nigeria, by Boko Haram and the sponsors, who have metamorphosed as Fulani herdsmen. The present Federal Government that came to power barely a year ago, is doing little or nothing to stop the destruction of villages, killings, rape, destruction of farmland and streams, invaders.

    During Jonathan administration, terrorists tried to penetrate the Southern Nigeria by road under various camouflage, but failed woefully. They were rounded up at different road-blocks. Usually, they disguised themselves as passengers or Government officials on official duties. Guns, bombs, and other ammunition were recovered from them. Also, they were arrested in attempts to place bombs, in churches and other public places in the South.

    But now, they have changed tactics. They are being recruited and used as herdsmen. There has been escalation in atrocities and impunity of these so-called herdsmen since the past one year. They are now allowed to carry fire arms including AK-47, to mow down people under any excuse. Is possession of firearms legalized only Hausa/Fulanis in Nigeria by these Nigerian Government? These gunmen use some of the cattle to carry their well-rapped weapons.

    On the 25th of April 2016, hundreds of hired Hausa/Fulani gunmen invaded a community in Enugu State, and raised it down. They killed scores people in one day, while displacing hundreds of people. In all these sponsored wickedness, no single herdsman or terrorist has ever been arrested and charged in the South. Buhari-led administration usually says it is working silently to find a solution to the destruction, while our people are being mowed down like animals in their ancestral homes, with Government security agents doing nothing about it. The nefarious activities of these herdsmen-turned terrorists are being condoned by the Government in power.

    We want to remind this present Federal government that the inaction and hypocrisy of Gowon military junta, during killings across the country in 1066/1967, led to civil war that nearly tore the country apart. He pretended not to be aware of the massacres. He really took the people for granted. His arrogance and impunity contributed to the deaths of millions of people before and during the civil war. It appears history is about to repeat itself. He took the South Easterners for granted; and pretended to be ignorant of the genocide going on. I have come to realize those who clamour for “One Nigeria” loudest, are the most deceitful.

    The question now is, who are the real owners of the various herds of cattle ravaging the Southern part of the country? Why should they recruit terrorists and arm them with automatic weapons to kill people in their homes? Why should Buhari- led administration, and security agents, including the army allow those illiterates to carry deadly weapons like AK-47, to shoot and kill human beings at will? There are ulterior motives behind all these spate of murders. There are more to it than meet the eye.

    International Community is the last hope of the oppressed. We call on the United Nations, and it’s Security council to carry out comprehensive investigation into the new tactics of these sponsored terrorists or herdsmen. They can send peace observer missions to Southern part of Nigeria. Let them find out the principal actors which include owners of herds of cattle; motives behind the sponsoring of this Northern Army, and the inaction of the Authorities. Let International Criminal Court (ICC), make arrests behind these mayhem, no matter how highly placed they may be.

    We need to tell ourselves the truth, it is time for us to part ways. Our people in the South East living in North are being killed. Now the killers have come down here to do same; murder our people, and nobody doing anything about it. The agitation for self-determination is the lasting solution to all these killings here and there. The unprovoked mowing down of our people by these illiterate herdsmen, is part of the grand conspiracy by some Northern elites to depopulate, destroy means of livelihood of our people, at the same time shout one Nigeria.

    Finally, we urge Traditional rulers in our land to organize their communities and form vigilante groups. They should be well trained and equipped, and comb the nearby bushes and forests regularly. They shouldn’t put all their trust in the Nigerian security agents, especially the Police. They satisfy the whims and caprices of those at the helm of affairs. During wanton destruction of lives and property, you hardly see them at the scene. Long after the mayhem, they surface and begin to arrest innocent people around as suspects. God Almighty reigns in the Kingdoms of men. He removes whoever He wants to remove from whatever position. The evils that men do live with them. Visit: http://www.powertrumpeter.org.

  • Nkem Okike

    I’m beginning to think this mayhem is such an organized one aimed at forcing all the christian states and settlements in the north to convert to Islam. Otherwise how come the Federal government controlling all the security organs in Nigeria are not able to put in check all this boko haram terrorists disguised as Fulani Herdsmen in check. Who is financing these Herdsmen if not some prominent politicians in the North and the cattle merchants with the active connivance of the powers that be.

  • Udom

    Successive Nigeria governments are criminally negligent from day one. How can any government allow unfettered access across our national borders to marauders for years? I have written and sounded the alarm about our porous borders and the need to secure them. There are absolutely no reasons why those borders are not manned. Those cattle with their herders, waltzing across those borders are not checked for diseases. A controlled border allows the department of agriculture with their health ministry counterparts to conduct random checks on the health of those herds before they head to the abattoirs. As at now the meat consumed by Nigerians are not properly inspected. California, a state in the United States can not be entered without agricultural inspectors determing if visitors or returning residents are not posing health hazards to the state.

    So, in Nigeria, we expose our citizens to dangers from animals and blood-thirsty foreigners. Where are our customs, immigration, agricultural and security officers? There are millions of unemployed youths. Hire them to build the borders. There are enough graduates looking for jobs. Train them with the mindset of contributing to the security of the nation. We can do better than this.