Dozens of Catholic Villagers Reportedly Killed in Central Nigeria Raid.
At least 71 Gbeji locals were slain in the attack, almost all of whom attended a parish branch of St. Michael’s Roman Catholic Church. Numerous Catholic villagers were slaughtered, according to reports, in a violent raid by Fulani herdsmen on October 19 in Benue State, Central Nigeria. Details are still coming to light. The slaughter of four Fulani herdsmen earlier in the week during a fight between herders and farmers defending their crops is what prompted the raid, according to both the police and the church. The precise number of deaths during the attack on October 19 is not agreed upon.
There are claims that at least 35 victims were discovered following the raid, and an additional 36 bodies were later discovered in nearby fields. He claimed that among the deceased were two police officers, ladies, and kids. Father Samuel Fila, a local priest who was outside the hamlet at a clergy gathering at the time of the attack, informed CNA in a text message that the Fulani terrorists arrived at 6:00 a.m. and started shooting randomly. He claimed that around 200 attackers took part in a planned operation, burning homes and using machetes to slash residents running for their lives.
A lower death toll has been provided by the State’s police commissioner.
The police commissioner for Benue State, Wale Abass, claimed a far lower death toll of no more than 10, including one policeman. According to Abass, the greater numbers could be the result of newspaper exaggeration or the fact that some families remove the bodies of their loved ones from the killing fields before an official count can be conducted. 20 police officers and 15 troops are working together to follow up on information regarding the whereabouts of the assailants and the local individuals who killed the herders, the official said, adding that no arrests have been made thus far.
Since 2019, Muslim extremists have frequently carried out brutal terrorist assaults in the state of Benue, which forbids the open grazing of migrating cow herds. Benue State borders the states of Nasarawa to the north and Taraba to the east. The Fulani ethnic group, which makes up to 10% of the population of Nigeria, the most populous nation in Africa, includes the herding clans. A rural community with 5,000 residents, Gbeji lies two miles west of the state boundary with Taraba. Approximately 9 kilometers south of Gbeji, in the parish of St. Thomas Catholic, villages there receive missionary visits.
The raid came in response to a violent clash that occurred recently.
The raid followed a bloody altercation that occurred earlier in the week. According to Father Fila, on Monday, October 17, local farmers armed with single-shot handguns engaged in a fight with four Fulani herdsmen whose herds were endangering the mature harvests and killed them. Herdsmen threatened to attack the village on Tuesday, he claimed. Due to exceptional flooding and widespread dread of being killed by armed terrorists while harvesting crops, farmers in Benue State, known as the ‘breadbasket of Nigeria’, are experiencing crop decreases. Due to militia raids, millions of farmers and their families in Benue are now living in camps for the internally displaced.
Following the Gbeji massacre, a presidential contender from the Fulani ethnic group offered his sympathies to the bereaved families in a Facebook post that some perceived to be a threat. In a letter to the people and administration of Benue State, PDP presidential candidate Atiku Abubakar expressed his “deepest sympathies to the families who may have lost a loved one” (PDP). For our national unity, the ongoing surge of intercommunal violence is not encouraging, Abubakar said.
Governors of other states have formed civilian guards for safety.
Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue, has been pleading with the federal government for years to relax the country’s draconian firearms rules, which prevent him from arming volunteer citizen guards with assault rifles to protect rural areas. In response to the frequent attacks by bandits and terrorists led by Fulani people in the Middle Belt, the governors of other states in the region deployed citizen guards for the same reason. The first half of 2022 saw at least 1,484 fatalities in the Middle Belt States, according to data made public by the Council on Foreign Relations.
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The continue killing of people by this called Fulani herdsmen is too much across the country and really sad,the Federal government which suppose to protect life and properties of her citizens is not doing enough instead they will be defending that nothing of such incidents happen .
The issue of insecurity gets worse su by day. Innocent people were raided in a village and none of the culprits have been arrested yet. I don’t understand where our security personnel are when things like this happen.
Nigeria has really lost it in terms of security imagine how many Iives were lost after the raidbof clash between the the farmers and herders,when are we going to get it right for once,the herders can’t just keep destroying crops of the farmers and they told this ratms doing nothing when the security forces can’t keep watch over any one.
The massacre of Fulani herdsmen in the course of a battle between herders and farmers defending their crops was the impetus for the raid, and all of these atrocities have got to stop.
Terrorist attacks committed by Muslim extremists are commonplace in Benue, a state that strictly prohibits the open grazing of migrating cow herds and that is very bad of the muslims
its sad that farmers in Benue State are reporting lower crop yields as a result of unusually severe flooding and the widespread fear that they may be slaughtered by armed terrorists while harvesting their crops. As a result of raids by militias, millions of farmers and their families in Benue are now forced to live in camps for people who have been displaced within the country.
It is quite upsetting to learn that as a result of raids by militias, millions of farmers in Benue and their families are now forced to live in camps for those who have been displaced within the country.
It has become regular in Nigeria. When government of this country called Nigeria can not fix or find solutions to the same Fulani herdsmen killers. Is now their right to kill and fight for what is not their own, I blame them.
The only thing that government will do now,, is to come out Say WE CONDOMN the act without doing the needful to stop this killings.
we are tired of all these religious killings and when will it end for Gods sake, people ought to know that we are all the same and these killings doesnt amount to any thing good
The government of Nigeria, which is supposed to protect the lives and property of its citizens, is not doing enough to stop the killing of people by so-called Fulani herdsmen, who are killing too many people in too many places across the country. Instead, they will defend themselves by saying that nothing similar to these incidents ever takes place.
This is not the first time this fulani herdsman will attack and kill people and destroy property up till now nothing is done to stop them from doing the criminal act how many life is to suffer before government find solution to it, something need to be done so people can live in peace
this fulani herdsmen have attacked and killed people and destroyed property, and yet the government has done nothing to stop them. How much more human suffering must occur before the government takes action to end this problem?
I can’t believe the vicious Fulani herdsman are still out there taking peoples life when we have an administration in power. They are already feeling like they are above the law. Government should be endeavor and help us out as soon as possible concerning the issue of insecurity in this country.
These Fulani herdsmen now kill without value for lives. They are now so happy to waste up to 71 Gbaji locals in Benue state who are Catholics. President Mohammed Buhari should call his Fulani people to order using whatever means he can.
For how long do we continue to experience, slaughter, kidnapping, massacres and all sorts of insecurity. The government are really enabling these perpetuators. The assurance that nothing will happen to them has really grown their wings. This is really sad.
The operation was a response to a violent confrontation that had taken place earlier in the week.
In the state of Benue, which prohibits the open grazing of migrating cow herds, Muslim extremists have repeatedly carried out savage terrorist attacks.
Insecurity!!!….No arrests have been made thus far. When are we going to curb insecurity in this country. Insecurity keeps evolving, Are there no solutions at all..Are there no govts?…i’m tired.
There might soon be a religious war. These muslim extremist won’t stop terrorizing innocent people and sadly the government has not been able to put them in check. This is appalling. Terrorism, death, insecurity here and there.
The president of this present administration Mohammed Buhari has succeeded in creating monsters that are now terrorizing every part of the country. I want to believe that the fulanis have an agenda to fulanize and islamize Nigeria and are strongly working towards it based on the evidence of genocide committed in the middle belt of Nigeria mostly. Imaging the number of people killed in that part of Benue state. It is well.