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August 17, 2018

Death toll in Benue killings hits 80 … Gov declares 3-day mourning

Day of anger anguish in Benue
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A total of 80 people have been killed in a week of violence in Benue State, a government spokesman said on Monday, much of it involving clashes between Fulani cattle herders and farmers.

The killings endanger efforts by President Muhammadu Buhari to bring security and stability to Nigeria – a key campaign pledge when he ran for election in 2015.

Muslim herdsmen, mainly of the Fulani ethnic group, and Christian farmers often clash over the use of land in remote areas of the Middle Belt region.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Benue State Governor, Terve Akase, who spoke with Reuters, attributed 80 deaths from December 31 to January 6 to killings by the Fulani. Reuters was unable to verify the figures.

“The attacks happened in very remote villages. Now, with security operatives on the ground, villagers have been going about the bush to pick up more corpses,” Akase said.

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, told reporters last week that the country was secure, though more police would be deployed to Benue state to deal with the violence.

Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, on Monday, declared a three-day mourning for the 80 dead victims that were killed  in recent attacks  on communities in the Logo and Guma Local Government Areas of the state by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The mourning period lasted from Tuesday ended to Thursday this week and end with a church service for the victims at the IBB square in Makurdi, followed by a mass burial.



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