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Bandit attacks ravage Benue communities, leaving death, desolation in their wake

Residents Flee as Houses Burn Amidst Rising Casualties

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A spate of deadly attacks by bandits has struck approximately nine communities in the Apa Local Government Area of Benue State, plunging the region into a state of chaos and despair.

Reports indicate that the assailants have mercilessly killed residents and set homes ablaze, forcing survivors to flee for their lives. The once-thriving communities now lie deserted, with an overwhelming sense of fear gripping those who remain.

While some locals estimate the casualties to be around 25, the lawmaker representing the area in the state Assembly, Abu Umoru, expressed his inability to tally the exact death toll amidst the relentless onslaught.

Umoru lamented, “About 95 per cent of a section of my community is displaced. The entire Edikpo community has been displaced, the entire Opaha, where I come from, nobody is in that community; Odugbo, nobody is there; Akpete, Ikobi, Akpata, Idiaha, Ochumekwu, Adiga, nobody is in those communities.”

He described a harrowing scenario where bandits lay ambushes, perpetrate killings, and raze homes with impunity, leaving a trail of devastation in their wake.

The severity of the crisis has taken its toll on Umoru, who revealed, “I have gone to my communities to sympathise with my people, and because of the killings, I have developed a problem that I have to go to the hospital for a checkup.”

He added, “These killings have gone beyond us. Our representatives at the National Assembly have moved motions times without numbers, but what has happened? Who do we cry to? We need to cry to God.”

Efforts to seek assistance and intervention have met obstacles, with the state government seemingly unresponsive to the escalating crisis. Despite repeated motions raised in the National Assembly, little tangible action has been taken to address the dire situation.

The spokesperson for the Benue State Police Command, Catherine Anene, stated, “No please, I don’t have reports on these attacks,” while attempts to reach Governor Hyacinth Alia’s Special Adviser on Security, Joseph Har, proved futile.

As the beleaguered communities grapple with the aftermath of these brutal attacks, the specter of violence and uncertainty looms large, casting a dark shadow over the once tranquil region.

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