Connect with us

Metro and Crime

Governor weeps as herdsmen invade Benue, kill 50

Published

on

Farmlands destroyed, residents flee

Ortom condemns attacks, calls for FG’s assistance

Fulani herdsmen on New Year day launched fierce attacks on Guma and Logo local government areas of Benue State, homes of Governor Samuel Ortom and his predecessor, Dr. Gabriel Suswam. The attackers killed more than 50 people in five communities. Ortom, who wept profusely on sighting the victims’ bodies at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, said over 20 people were killed. The assailants burnt down many houses in the affected local governments, displaced scores of residents, destroyed farm crops, food barns and property.

Hundreds of those who sustained varying degrees of injuries are receiving treatment in hospitals across the state. It was learnt that in Logo Local Government Area, which was worse hit, the attackers made the incursion about 10a.m. on Monday with sophisticated weapons and started shooting sporadically when the inhabitants were in the church for the New Year service. The attack, which took the people unawares, continued till the early hours of yesterday where, in Saghev and Branch Umenger villages all in Guma Local Government Area as well as at Jootar in Gaambe-Tiev in Logo Local Government Area, the invaders slaughtered many people, among them women and children.

Dozens of inhabitants have evacuated their household items, including clothing, foodstuff, electronics, furniture and vehicles among others and are taking refuge in areas considered to be safe as no refuges’ camp has been created by the state government.

It was learnt that among those killed in Guma included nine members of Livestock Security Guards deployed in the area to help protect the lives and property of the people, while a security Hilux van belonging to them was also burnt. Some of the Livestock Guards men reportedly killed were Mr. Shiaondo of Turan council ward and Mr. Iorpuu Ger of Mbashav, Mbagber council ward, all of Gaambe- Tiev Logo Local Government Area.

It was learnt at press time that more bodies which littered the bush were still being picked and deposited in the morgue at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital as well as the General Hospital in Ugba, headquarters of Logo Local Government Area where some of the injured victims were also receiving treatment. A fleeing victim, Anande Ikyumen, regretted that as the attacks continued, security operatives were alerted but did not respond.

He said: “The worst part of it is that with all the pressure and calls, the security operatives kept telling the affected communities that they were very close to the scenes of the attack while the militias intensified the attack and killing.”

The Chief Medical Director of the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Terlumun Swende, told journalists that 11 victims were so far received in the hospital while six died. He also said efforts were on to revive the remaining five.

Swende described the injuries inflicted on the victims as “heinous and gruesome”. This is one of the deadly attacks on communities in the state which is coming barely two months after the Anti- Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law 2017 which was signed into law by Ortom became fully operational.

The objectives of the law are, among other things, to prevent clashes between nomadic livestock herders and crop farmers; prevent the destruction of crop farms, community ponds, settlements and property by open rearing and grazing of livestock. It provides further that any person(s) found moving livestock on foot within or across urban centres, rural settlements or any part of the state commits an offence and is liable to N500,000 fine for first offender or N1 million fine or three years imprisonment or both.

The law also lucidly spells out that any person or group of persons who contravenes its sub-section (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to five years imprisonment or N1 million fine or both. In a swift reaction, Governor Ortom condemned the gruesome murder of the innocent people, describing it as unacceptable. The governor, who said more than 20 people were killed, called on the Federal Government to urgently step into the matter by deploying more security personnel to stop the carnage.

He said: “I think this is where the Federal Government must come in immediately to stop this because these people are known. We heard that they met in one state and mobilised to come and attack our people and they have sophisticated weapons. “This is not acceptable; we are not going to accept it.

There is no going back on the implementation of the Anti- Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law. This is our land and the law was duly passed by our people. Those who have been killed, their blood will cry to the Federal Government and if the Federal Government does not do something, their blood will cry to God and I am sure God will deal with the situation Himself.” Ortom said he had made official report to the Federal Government about the intension of the armed Fulani herdsmen to invade the state over claims that they were against the Anti- Open Grazing Law.

The governor, however, maintained that the law was enacted as a deliberate way of ending years of conflict between herdsmen and farmers. He said: “I have never seen where people will come out with this level of impunity.

The law was legitimately passed, nobody has faulted it, it is our right to make laws for the good governance of our state and as a government, it is the constitutional responsibility of our government to provide security for lives and property.”

Also, one person was reportedly killed at Gbudu Talaka village along Benue-Nasarawa states’ borders when suspected AK47-wielding Fulani herdsmen invaded the area. Several houses were reportedly set on fire while hundreds of people were rendered homeless.

Witnesses said residents of communities at Baking Korta along Nasarawa State border had fled their homes and were now taking refuge at Keana, headquarters of Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, for fear of being attacked.

Former Chairman of Tiv Consultative Forum, Chief Augustine Kuza, told journalists on the telephone that thousands of people, including women and children, along Bakin Korta and environs had deserted their homes and were now taking refuge at Keana town. He explained that a large number of suspected herdsmen armed with weapons were sighted moving towards Benue State.

The former Tiv Consultative Forum chairman appealed to the Nasarawa State government to as a matter of urgency deploy security personnel in the border area to prevent escalation of the crisis. Kuza therefore called on Nasarawa State government to create camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) moving along border areas between Benue and Nasarawa states to take refuge, just as he called on governments of the two states and the Federal Government to restore peace in the affected communities.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Metro and Crime

I married my sister to obey God, avoid divorce –Brother

Published

on

Twenty-five-years old Mr. Cornelius Chiadi Ezeibekwe, from Ekwulobia town in Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State has become the buzz of the moment following his wedding to his younger sister, aged 17 years.

The youth of the community who couldn’t comprehend the taboo burnt down the Sabbath Church where the two were joined as husband and wife. Chiadi who is the sixth of the 10 children of Mr. Louis Ezeibekwe, is a Mathematics teacher at Community Secondary School, Isuofia, also in Aguata local government area.

When Saturday Telegraph visited the home of the newly wedded couple at Agba village, Ekwulobia, Chiadi was seen busy marking examination scripts in a tension free environment while his wife remained indoor throughout our correspondent’s visit to the couple. According to Chiadi, his sister and wife was a student of Federal Government Technical College, GTC, Awka, but had to leave school sometime ago to enable her observe Sabbath rites known as ‘Shimta’. “It was during the observation, which lasts for one year that the marriage took place.

In that period of ‘Shimta’, she must remain in the compound for one year. It was further learnt that Chiadi’s sister had already left school because of the controversy generated by her marriage to her elder brother.

On the reasons why he married his sister, Chiadi said: “I am a Sabbath and when I searched through the scriptures, I discovered that Bible permits marriage between a brother and a sister. So, I went ahead with the arrangement to marry my younger sister.

“The marriage ceremony was observed in our family compound, which also serves as a place of worship for us. My immediate elder brother, Paul Ezeibekwe, the pastor, was present during the ceremony.

“What happened was that when we decided to get married, we told our parents our intention and my father asked us if we knew what we were about to do. I told him that we searched through the scriptures and that God sanctioned it. It was after this that our parents consented.

“However, our other relations objected to the idea when they learnt of the plan and when we ignored them and went ahead with the marriage, they and other villagers burnt the Sabbath Church where we used to worship because they thought it was in that place that we worship, not knowing that we had since abandoned the place and are worshipping in our compound.

The burning of the church does not mean anything to us. “God told me to marry my sister and she also saw the same vision I saw earlier. There are places in the Bible that support such marriage. Those in doubt should read Songs of Solomon Chapters 4 and 5 and 1st Corinthians Chapter 7. “Since we took this decision, I have not felt anything unusual, or felt that I did anything wrong. In the school where I teach, many people asked me about it and I boldly refered them to the Bible.

“One of the reasons for marrying my sister is to avoid divorce which is rampant these days because even if we divorce each other, we will remain in the same family. Besides, by marrying one’s sibling, there will not be the possibility of introducing ugly situations, like diseases or social vices into the family. “

However, their 78 years frail looking father, appeared not to be in total control of the behaviour of his children, His eldest son, Emeka, who is a member of the Winners’ Church and resides in Port Harcourt, condemned the marriage, saying it was a taboo. He said: “I cannot support evil no matter how it is painted.”

Though the family was originally Catholics, they later changed to Seventh Day Adventist Church before switching to their own brand of Sabbath worship, with one of the children of Louis Ezeibekwe, Paul, as the pastor.

The issue drew the attention of some elders of the community a they immediately went to the traditional prime minister of Ekwulobia, Chief Gabriel Ezeukwu to lodge a complaint following the absence of the traditional ruler of the area, Igwe Emmanuel Onyeneke, who is currently out of the country. Following consultations with other elders in the community, Ezeukwu ordered that the marriage be dissolved and a cleansing of the community of the bad omen be done to avert any calamity.

The Parish Priest of St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Ekwulobia is had begun the cleansing. On whether he would submit himself for cleansing by the Catholic Church, Chiadi said; “Inasmuch as I would not like to break the law of the land, I would leave everything to God to decide because it was God that gave me the vision to marry my sister.

“Except my eldest brother, Emeka, every other member of the family supported this marriage. Our father only changed his mind following the chaos our marriage generated. “It is not the beauty of my sister that made me to marry her. The attraction is that when God wants you to do something, you should do it.”

The traditional prime minister of Ekwulobia, Chief Gabriel Ezeukwu, a Mass Communication lecturer at Madonna University, Okija, said the people of that village reported the matter to him.

He said: “Before coming to me, they were considering various options, including whether to involve the police, adopt a jungle justice or to parade those involved round the town before subjecting them to other rituals. “But I advised that the first thing was to investigate the matter thoroughly. I personally went to their compound and met their parents. I did not see the young man involved and when I was told that he was teaching at Community Secondary School, Isuofia, I went there, but still did not find him. “I saw a burnt structure that looked like a church beside their house and I urged those who gathered at the scene to disappear in their own interest.’

‘Twenty-five-years old Mr. Cornelius Chiadi Ezeibekwe, from Ekwulobia town in Aguata Local Government Area, Anambra State has become the buzz of the moment following his wedding to his younger sister, aged 17 years.

The youth of the community who couldn’t comprehend the taboo burnt down the Sabbath Church where the two were joined as husband and wife. Chiadi who is the sixth of the 10 children of Mr. Louis Ezeibekwe, is a Mathematics teacher at Community Secondary School, Isuofia, also in Aguata local government area.

When Saturday Telegraph visited the home of the newly wedded couple at Agba village, Ekwulobia, Chiadi was seen busy marking examination scripts in a tension free environment while his wife remained indoor throughout our correspondent’s visit to the couple.

According to Chiadi, his sister and wife was a student of Federal Government Technical College, GTC, Awka, but had to leave school sometime ago to enable her observe Sabbath rites known as ‘Shimta’. “It was during the observation, which lasts for one year that the marriage took place. In that period of ‘Shimta’, she must remain in the compound for one year. It was further learnt that Chiadi’s sister had already left school because of the controversy generated by her marriage to her elder brother. On the reasons why he married his sister, Chiadi said: “I am a Sabbath and when I searched through the scriptures, I discovered that Bible permits marriage between a brother and a sister.

So, I went ahead with the arrangement to marry my younger sister. “The marriage ceremony was observed in our family compound, which also serves as a place of worship for us. My immediate elder brother, Paul Ezeibekwe, the pastor, was present during the ceremony. “What happened was that when we decided to get married, we told our parents our intention and my father asked us if we knew what we were about to do. I told him that we searched through the scriptures and that God sanctioned it. It was after this that our parents consented.

“However, our other relations objected to the idea when they learnt of the plan and when we ignored them and went ahead with the marriage, they and other villagers burnt the Sabbath Church where we used to worship because they thought it was in that place that we worship, not knowing that we had since abandoned the place and are worshipping in our compound. The burning of the church does not mean anything to us.

“God told me to marry my sister and she also saw the same vision I saw earlier. There are places in the Bible that support such marriage. Those in doubt should read Songs of Solomon Chapters 4 and 5 and 1st Corinthians Chapter 7.

“Since we took this decision, I have not felt anything unusual, or felt that I did anything wrong. In the school where I teach, many people asked me about it and I boldly refered them to the Bible. “One of the reasons for marrying my sister is to avoid divorce which is rampant these days because even if we divorce each other, we will remain in the same family. Besides, by marrying one’s sibling, there will not be the possibility of introducing ugly situations, like diseases or social vices into the family. “

However, their 78 years frail looking father, appeared not to be in total control of the behaviour of his children, His eldest son, Emeka, who is a member of the Winners’ Church and resides in Port Harcourt, condemned the marriage, saying it was a taboo. He said: “I cannot support evil no matter how it is painted.” Though the family was originally Catholics, they later changed to Seventh Day Adventist Church before switching to their own brand of Sabbath worship, with one of the children of Louis Ezeibekwe, Paul, as the pastor.

The issue drew the attention of some elders of the community a they immediately went to the traditional prime minister of Ekwulobia, Chief Gabriel Ezeukwu to lodge a complaint following the absence of the traditional ruler of the area, Igwe Emmanuel Onyeneke, who is currently out of the country. Following consultations with other elders in the community, Ezeukwu ordered that the marriage be dissolved and a cleansing of the community of the bad omen be done to avert any calamity.

The Parish Priest of St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Ekwulobia is had begun the cleansing. On whether he would submit himself for cleansing by the Catholic Church, Chiadi said; “Inasmuch as I would not like to break the law of the land, I would leave everything to God to decide because it was God that gave me the vision to marry my sister. “Except my eldest brother, Emeka, every other member of the family supported this marriage.

Our father only changed his mind following the chaos our marriage generated. “It is not the beauty of my sister that made me to marry her. The attraction is that when God wants you to do something, you should do it.”

The traditional prime minister of Ekwulobia, Chief Gabriel Ezeukwu, a Mass Communication lecturer at Madonna University, Okija, said the people of that village reported the matter to him. He said: “Before coming to me, they were considering various options, including whether to involve the police, adopt a jungle justice or to parade those involved round the town before subjecting them to other rituals.

“But I advised that the first thing was to investigate the matter thoroughly. I personally went to their compound and met their parents. I did not see the young man involved and when I was told that he was teaching at Community Secondary School, Isuofia, I went there, but still did not find him. “I saw a burnt structure that looked like a church beside their house and I urged those who gathered at the scene to disappear in their own interest.”

Continue Reading

Metro and Crime

Truck crushes man, 2 siblings to death

Published

on

There was pandemonium yesterday in Ago-Iwoye, Ijebu North Local Government Area of Ogun State when a truck laden with granite crushed a middle-aged man with three children. The incident happened at Oru- Ago-Iwoye junction, along the Ijebu- Ode/Ibadan Road when the victims were riding a motorcycle on their way to school at about 7:30am. Saturday Telegraph gathered that the tragic crash claimed the lives of the man and two of the kids on the spot.

The incident sparked riot in the area as aggrieved youths and residents set the truck ablaze in protest against the killing of the victims. Another unsuspecting truck, which drove into the scene, was also intercepted and set on fire by the protesters. Police as well as operatives of Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) and Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps (TRACE) had hectic time to control the situation.

The FRSC Sector Commander, Clement Oladele, who confirmed the incident, said the fourth victim, a female child, was injured in the crash. Oladele, who spoke through the FRSC Public Education Officer, Ogun State Command, Florence Okpe, attributed the crash to overspeeding and dangerous driving on the part of the truck driver.

The FRSC boss gave the vehicles involved in the crash as an unmarked Shacman truck and a Chigjeng AX100 motorcycle marked OG7613BA. He explained that the injured female child was taken to a private hospital in Oru, Ijebu while the dead were taken to the mortuary of State Hospital, Ijebu-Igbo.

He said: “The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Ago-Iwoye rescue team reported promptly and succeeded in rescuing one of the victims, a young female child, to Blessed Hospital Oru Ijebu for immediate treatment. “Upon returning to the scene, youths and students who were already on the rampage started destroying the truck involved and one other truck that drove into the scene. “The bodies of the dead were evacuated in the heat of the chaos to State Hospital Ijebu-Igbo mortuary.”

The state’s Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, could not be reached for comments on whether the truck driver had been arrested or not.

Continue Reading

Metro and Crime

Osinbajo extols late Adebiyi

Published

on

Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Friday, led other dignitaries to Otun- Ekiti, in Moba Local Government Area of Ekiti State, for the final burial ceremony of a foremost educationist and selfless community leader, Pa Daniel Olajide Adebiyi (JP). Pa Adebiyi, a product of the prestigious Christ School, Ado- Ekiti, and London School of Economics, died on October 23, 2017, at the age of 95. He was survived by children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, who gave him a befitting burial deserving of his royal status.

Extolling the deceased at the farewell service held at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Otun-Ekiti, the VP said that the late Adebiyi’s life and times were exemplary and worthy of commendation, hence his decision to dignify the event with his presence.

Osinbajo said, “This is a celebration of the life of a distinguished educationist. Our nation needs men and women like Adebiyi. He devoted his time and existence to serving other people and he did so with integrity and honesty.

“When we write and think about him, we think of only greatness and his contributions to the life of others. And we know that here is a man who set an example of good character, hard work and service to man and God. This is why we are celebrating his life.”

Continue Reading

Trending

Take advantage of our impressive online traffic; advertise your brands and products on this site. Call

 

For Advert Placement and Enquiries, Call:

Mobile Phone:+234 803 304 2915

 

Online Editor: Michael Abimboye

Mobile Phone: 0813 699 6757

Email: mmakesense@gmail.com

 

Copyright © 2018 NewTelegraph Newspaper.

%d bloggers like this: