At least 66 persons have been confirmed killed by marauding gunmen in three Northern states of Nigeria.
Of the number, 56 were killed by suspected Herdsmen in Benue and Taraba states while 10 were killed by bandits in Kaduna state.
This put the number of people killed on Friday in three Northern states to over 66.
In Benue, no fewer than 42 persons including seven students of the Benue State College of Education, Katsina-Ala, were reportedly killed in a renewed separate attack by the marauding herdsmen in Katsina-Ala and Gwer- Local Governments Area of Benue State.
Our Correspodent gathered from the local that heavily armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen and men of the late militant leader, Terwase Akwaza alias ‘Gana’ Thursday morning attacked Tse Shikaan in Mbagena, Kpav, Katsina-Ala LGA of Benue State.
The attack is coming barely 72 hours after the the same group allegedly killed about 100 persons in four wards in the same Local Government.
The herders according to sources were led by the loyalists of the late militia leader Gana.
They are conspiring with the Fulanis herdsmen to kill their people, residents say.
Also confirming the killing in Gwer- West, the Council chairman, Mrs Grace Igbabon said some suspected herdsmen attacked a community close to Makurdi and killed five people while some people were also abducted.
“We were holding a stakeholders meeting on Thursday between 4 and 5pm when people from Tinader village called me that there was attack on their village. They said five people were killed in the attack.
“I later gathered that the suspected fulani Herdsmen also waylaid passengers on Makurdi -Naka road and kidnapped some people, including a woman and her child. Up to now, their whereabouts is unknown,” she said.
When contacted, the State Police Public Command spokesperson, DSP Catherine Anene who confirmed the attack in Gwer West, said that five people were killed in the attack.
According to her, she was yet to get the report of the incident in Katsina Ala local government.
No fewer than 12 people were killed in Gassol and two in Bali Local Government Areas of Taraba State following fresh attacks by suspected herders.
A community leader, Mr Orkurga Terkimbi told our correspondent on phone that 12 dead bodies were evacuated by security personnel around the bushes of Ijever near Sabon-Gida in Gassol local government.
This is even as two people were killed and 11 others injured on Thursday night by Fulani militiamen in a community called Pangari in Bali Local Government Area of the state.
It was gathered that three persons who sustained injuries in the attack in Gassol are receiving treatment in a private hospital in Sabon-Gida while 11 who sustained injuries in the attack in Pangari are receiving treatment at the General hospital in Bali.
Hundreds of people mostly Tiv farmers on Friday flood Jalingo the Taraba State capital, following attacks on communities in Bali and Gassol Local Government Areas.
The IDPs who are camping at NKST Church, Mayo-Dassa and NKST Church Kufai among other locations said the attackers sacked Pangari, Sansani communities in Bali and Numbe, Ijever and Sindelde in Gassol Local Government Areas.
Mr. Matthew Baki, Chairman of Tiv Cultural and Social Association, Bali Local Government chapter told our correspondent that two people were killed on Thursday night and 11 others wounded.
“The suspected Fulani militia attacked Pangari at about 2:00am and killed two people while 11 others were wounded.
“This morning, the Police in Bali came and evacuated the corpse and the injured to General hospital Bali.
“Many people are fleeing the area now. The number of people leaving the area has overwhelmed motorists.
“Some women and children are fleeing by foot and heading towards Jalingo and Mutum Biyu axis,” he said.
In Mutum Biyu, headquarters of Gassol Local Government, a Catholic Priest, Rev. Fr. George Dogo said his Church was full with people fleeing attacks in some communities.
Dogo appeal to relevant authorities to arrest the situation.
Police Public Relations Officer, DSP David Misal in a text message to our correspondent said, “the report I received from Gassol indicated some round huts were set ablaze, but no report of lost of life except that one of yesterday.
In Kaduna State, no fewer than ten residents were killed in some Kaduna State villages, the State government said on Friday.
Samuel Aruwan, Commissioner, Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs, in a statement said security agencies had reported armed bandits attack in Na’ikko village in Giwa LGA of the state.
Aruwan, explained that community volunteers engaged the bandits and in the ensuing gun duel, three residents were killed.
The statement identified those killed as:”Alhaji Shafiu, Alhaji Balailu Sani, Abdulsamad Hussaini”
Aruwan explained further that, in a reaction to the killings youths of Na’ikko village attacked a nearby Fulani settlement Rugan Abdulmuminu and killed two persons whom they alleged to be involved in the initial attack:”These were identified as: Abdulmuminu Agwai,Samaila Agwai”
The statement said in another incident, armed bandits invaded Dakyauro village, Sabon Birni, Igabi LGA, killing four persons after rustling about 25 cows:”The four persons killed were listed as: Musbahu Yusuf,Basiru Jaafaru,Ja’afaru Yahaya,Umaru Sulaiman.Two persons were injured in the attack: Anas Ibrahim, Aisha Abbas”
The statement noted that a community leader, Dauda Adamu, was also killed by bandits at Ungwan Ayaba in Chikun LGA.
Aruwan said further that, armed bandits also invaded farmlands on the outskirts of Gigani village, Kerawa, Igabi LGA and rustled about 14 bulls being used by farmers to plough the land.
According to the statement, Governor Nasir El-Rufai sent condolences to the families of those who lost their lives in the attacks, as he prayed for the repose of their souls. He also wished those injured a speedy recovery.
“The Governor noted with deep concern the incidents in Na’ikko village in Giwa LGA, and appealed to residents to embrace recourse to law. He implored them to avoid killings and reprisal actions that would prove utterly detrimental to peace in the area, as Government was working closely with security agencies and stakeholders”
The statement however assured farmers in the Giwa, Igabi, Birnin Gwari, Kajuru and Chikun LGAs of the Government’s awareness of their plight:”and is taking active steps towards ensuring that they would continue to pursue their livelihoods in safety”
Aruwan said the Governor also addressed reports received on brewing tension in Bomo community, Sabon Gari LGA, between residents and the Nigerian Army.
The Governor appealed to members of the community to maintain calm, as the matter had been reported and steps were being taken in conjunction with His Royal Highness, the Emir of Zazzau, to address the situation.
“Finally, the Kaduna State Government has urged private schools operating in high-risk areas to adhere to the security advisories issued to them. This followed reports that some schools have continued to operate outside of the guidelines presented to them by the security agencies for the safety of their students and staff.
“The Governor is also monitoring the developments in Kauru, Jema’a and Zangon Kataf LGAs, and working assiduously to enhance security and peace in the identified flash-points in these LGAs” Aruwan said.