The number of fatalities from recent attacks on Imande Mbakange and neighboring communities in the Mbacher Council Ward of Kastina-Ala Local Government Area (LGA) in Benue state has now surpassed 40. Unknown gunmen carried out these assaults.
On June 3, armed men, who have yet to be identified, attacked the communities, resulting in the reported deaths of at least 28 individuals. The attackers also set fire to numerous houses and caused injuries to many residents.
Expressing deep sorrow over the brutal killings in the region, the Shitile Development Association (SDA), Makurdi branch, addressed a plea for assistance to the state government. The letter, signed by President Door Samuel and Secretary General Zuai Ephraim, was made available to the press on Thursday. The SDA raised concerns about the ongoing killings in the affected communities, known as the Shitile axis of the state.
The group highlighted that following the June 3 invasion, which claimed 28 lives, the Shitile people in the Benue North East District and parts of Taraba State have been severely attacked over the past two weeks without justifiable reasons.
The group reported that at least 40 individuals were killed in separate simultaneous attacks, notably on June 4, in various communities within Kastina-Ala LGA. They appealed to the authorities to take decisive action to end the bloodshed in these affected areas.
According to the group, “Following the June 3 attack on Imande Mbakange village market, 28 bodies were discovered in different locations.” In the subsequent days, “six more individuals were slaughtered in Michihe Council Ward, while another six were killed in Achamegh village, Mbagene Kpav.”
“These senseless killings are now occurring with alarming frequency, often under the cover of darkness. What is most disturbing is the lack of knowledge regarding the identities of the perpetrators and their motives for such actions.”
“Due to the prevailing insecurity, gathering precise statistics by traveling from village to village is challenging. However, numerous lives have been ruthlessly snuffed out in various regional villages, plunging the entire land into sorrow and mourning.”
“As these barbaric acts persist, our defenseless people who narrowly escaped death are fleeing their homes and farmlands for safety. Regrettably, we have observed herders occupying these deserted areas and freely grazing their animals on our farms.”
The group appealed to the state government to assist the Shitile people, who lost their lives and belongings to the unidentified armed assailants.