Armed ViolenceDisplacement & MigrationNews

Angry IDPs Protest Killing Of Colleagues In Northcentral Nigeria, Block Highway

Internally Displaced Persons from the Abagana camp, Benue State, Tuesday took to Markurdi-Lafia highway to protest the killing of seven IDPs.

After seven Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) were gruesomely murdered and 15 others injured by suspected criminal herders, IDPs from the Abagana camp, Tuesday morning, blocked the Markurdi-Lafia federal highway in protest, displaying the bodies of the deceased. 

In a Channels Television’s report, an eyewitness present at the protest said the criminal herders stormed the IDP camp and started shooting sporadically, killing seven and leaving many others injured.

The eyewitness warned that without the Federal Government intervention, the IDPs may resort to carrying arms to defend themselves.

However, addressing the IDPs, Samuel Ortom, Benue State Governor, called on Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency over Nigeria’s deteriorating security situation. 

He also challenged the Nigerian President to rise up to the defence of vulnerable rural farming communities and IDPs.

“Mr President must rise up, he is the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He has taken the oath of office to secure and protect lives and property. This is not acceptable, this cannot continue. Mr President must rise up and address the nation,” Ortom said.

He further pressed on the President to authorise the state to acquire weapons to fight armed criminal herders following the attack on the camp.

The governor also asked for a national security summit to be convened urgently by the President to get the true picture of the killings allegedly attributed to suspected terrorists noting that 70 people have been killed in the last one month with no actionable intelligence to track the perpetrators.

This incident came barely 24 hours after three students of the Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi, Benue State, were abducted by an armed group.

A student who witnessed the incident said the heavily-armed kidnappers came on foot to the engineering department from where they took the victims into the bush.

The university administration has already suspended lectures and assured students of their safety while in school.

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