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‘89 Killed In Benue LG In 3 Months’




The Apa Development Association, a socio-cultural umbrella body of the Apa people, on Wednesday said 89 people were killed by armed invaders in 31 villages under Apa Local Government Area of Benue State within three months.

Addressing journalists yesterday in Makurdi, the chairman of the association, Eche Akpoko, described the security situation in the area as “precarious and volatile.”

He listed the villages affected to include Ope-Ikobi, Ochi-Ikobi, Olugwu-Ikobi, Inowa-Ikobi, Olegoncha-Ikobi, Ijaha-Ikobi, Imana-Ikobi and Oleoke-Ikobi, where 40 people were killed.

He said 20 people were killed across Ebugodo-Edikwu, Ankpali-Edikwu, Olegijamu-Edikwu, Olekele-Edikwu, Ukpogo-Edikwu, Edikwu-Icho, Edikwu-Oladoga, Okwiji-Edikiwu and Ojecho-Edikwu villages.

“At Ugbobi, five persons were killed including the village head. In Odugbo, eight persons were shot dead while five persons were killed at Olegogba, and one person each was killed at Akpete and Opaha respectively. Akpanta and Iyapu were also attacked and two persons each were killed.”

Akpoko further used the opportunity to debunk the narratives making the rounds in some quarters that the attacks on the people of Apa LGA were as a result of chieftaincy/land disputes.

“This claim is merely speculative, spurious and baseless as it’s intended to divert public attention from the real issues on ground. Contiguous local governments to Apa such as Agatu, Otukpo and Gwer-West have also suffered similar attacks.

“We maintain that the rationale for these unprovoked attacks on Apa Local Government people is a clear case of invasion and forceful occupation of our land!”

Akpoko called on the federal and state governments to mobilise relevant agencies to provide relief materials to the people.

He warned that the people might be compelled to activate their rights of self-defence, which might lead to total breakdown of law and order.

Reports has it that the Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, had said at least 134 people had been killed by armed invaders within five days in separate attacks on villages in Otukpo, Apa and Guma local government areas of the state.

Ortom, who spoke to journalists when he visited over 36 injured victims, mainly women and children, of Ngban attack at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital (BSUTH), described the attacks as, “heinous and cowardly.”

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