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Protesters Block Road In Benue, Demanding Justice For Killings

Febe Falodun

Residents of Gwer West Local Government Area in Benue State came out in large numbers on Tuesday evening, blocking the Makurdi-Naka road to express their anger and frustration over the rampant killings in the area.

In a tragic incident that has left the community in shock, 26 individuals from three different communities in the council area have lost their lives in a series of attacks believed to be carried out by bandits suspected to be herdsmen.

The Chairman of the Local Government Area, Henry Agba, revealed to our correspondent that the attack, which started on Saturday and continued until Monday, resulted in the tragic loss of 26 lives, including six brave personnel from the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards and Livestock Guards.

The residents who came out to protest are blaming the state government for not enforcing the Anti-Open Grazing Law.

In the latest update, Deputy Governor Sam Ode declared on March 6, 2024, the full enforcement of the anti-open grazing law.

The protesters, holding various placards, urged the Federal and State Governments to safeguard the community from armed herders.

During the protest, Francis Ayagah, a former local government chairman of Gwer West, passionately appealed to the federal government to prioritize the safety of his fellow citizens.

He said, “The renewed insecurity in the area was a result of the failure of Governor Hyacinth Alia’s administration to enforce the Open Grazing Prohibition and Ranches Establishment Law of Benue State, which allows herders to move freely with their cows and arms, which are used to attack the people.”

Titus Numzua, a protester from Seghev/Yegev council ward, revealed that the presence of herdsmen in the area has made the security situation in many communities of Gwer West more challenging.

The influx of herdsmen has created complications for the safety and well-being of the local residents.

In addition, he urged the federal government to prioritize the safety of the people and requested the governor to offer logistical assistance to security agencies, the Benue State Livestock Guards, and the Community Volunteer Guards.

This collaboration aims to supplement the efforts of conventional security agents and restore peace to Gwer West.

The Senator, Dr. Titus Zam, representing Benue North West Senatorial District, expressed his heartfelt condolences to the victims and strongly condemned the coordinated attacks on his constituents. 

These heinous acts have caused the loss of many innocent lives.

Arc. Dr. Asema Achado, the representative of Gwer East/Gwer West Federal Constituency, has strongly denounced the horrific killings of his constituents.

 He has urged the Benue State Government to enforce the law that prohibits open grazing and to ensure that those responsible for this despicable act face justice.

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