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17 victims of herdsmen attack given mass burial by Benue govt



Seventeen victims of a recent attack by armed herdsmen on the Mbakyor community of Mbalom Council Ward in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State, were on, Tuesday, given a mass burial by the government.

The heavily armed bandits had, on March 7, invaded the community and by the time they were done, 19 persons were killed, including a retired army officer.

While delivering a funeral oration at the mass burial, Governor Hyacinth Alia, who was represented by his deputy, Dr. Sam Ode, said the government has resolved to set up vigilante groups in villages which ‘would serve as the solution to the activities of the rampaging armed herdsmen in the state.’

“Today is a sad day in the history of Benue State; to line up caskets like this is unacceptable. I am so sad and my heart is heavy to see this kind of spectacle that shouldn’t have happened,” the Governor said.

READ ALSO:Herdsmen invade Kogi community, kill scores, raze houses

“Security is not for government alone because there is no one that can protect you like yourself; you need to have a Joint Security Task Force or vigilante groups that would be properly profiled and handed over to government to handle them. That is the solution to the insecurity we are facing in the state.”

Alia also assured the people of the state that his government was working round the clock to tackle the security challenges and called for the cooperation of all.

The lawmaker representing Gwer East in the state House of Assembly, Elias Audu, who also spoke at the funeral, said it was sad that despite the availability of attack helicopters to tackle such threats, security agencies did not live up to their responsibilities even when the attack lasted over three hours.

He however, lauded Governor Alia for all he has done since the incident, including the Easter distribution he made available to the victims’ families.

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