The remains of victims of the on Agage community attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen Gwer West Local Government Area in Benue State have been claimed by their families and buried accordingly
They were buried amidst shock and a call on the government for urgent measures to address the issue of security in the country.
It will be recalled that the victims, 16 in number, were gruesomely murdered by AK47-carrying suspected Fulani herdsmen in their farms on Sunday, March 3, 2019.
It was a scene of mourning in Agage village as men, women and children all dressed in black grieved over the loss of their loved ones.
They are grieving following an attack in their communities by suspected Fulani herdsmen which claimed the lives of 16 farmers with farmlands destroyed.
Shortly after the service at the mortuary, the families and the community all gathered for the mass burial which brought back mixed feelings of agony and reflection.
Relations of the deceased, who cried and wailed in utter disbelieve as they watched the bodies of their parents, women, children and grandparents lowered into the grave.
Community members who summoned the courage to speak, gave their own account of how the 16 farmers were killed during the attack as they task the government to address the issue of security.
Mourners, who rained curses on the killers, berated the Federal government and the security agencies for not tackling the herdsmen and Boko haram’s menace headlong.
Nine of the victims were buried in a mass grave while the seven were conveyed to their respective family homes for burial.
Some of the families of the victims who were at the burial, decried the killing of the victims.
They expressed displeasure at the continued siege on the communities by suspected herdsmen, as folks can longer access their farmlands for fear of being killed.
Adamu Idibia, who lost his father in the attack alleged that the killer-herdsmen were foreign Fulani herdsmen from Mali, Chad and other northern parts of Africa.
Idibia, however, called on the Federal Government to prevail on the marauders to vacate the kingdom so that farmers could return to their farms ahead of the rainy season.
Sola Asaolu, whose father was also killed in the attack condemned the government, for being slow to act because the Islamist sect and bandits are from the same region as the serving President. He insisted that the southern region must secede to have peace in Nigeria.
“I am particularly sad about the pain my father went through before he finally died in my arms. I got the call about the attack from Lagos that same day and I had to rush down here. He was in severe pains as I watch him die. It’s such a painful experience that I will never forget or forgive this government”, Sola recounts
“The government have not done anything to save our families because the killers are their people. They are Hausas and Fulanis who are spread over West Africa. My fathers; blood is upon this government. I assure that this country will know no peace until we move out of this country as southerners; let the Igbos leave and let the Yoruba leave. We don’t want One Nigeria anymore”, Sola Asaolu stated.
Butrus Bako, also a victim’s relation, expressed displeasure over the mass killings and urged members of the community in the state to defend themselves.
Alkali Momoh, who escaped narrowly, recounted his horrible experience in pains as he described the violence unleashed on the community as preventable.
Farming communities in parts of Benue State have in recent times come under attack by suspected herdsmen, leading to the loss of many lives and destruction of properties, forcing thousands of residents to seek refuge in internally displaced people’s camps in the state capital, Makurdi, and surrounding towns.
Although the attacks seemed to have been brought under control, especially towards the end of 2018, following the deployment of a military task force, Operation Whirl Stroke to the area, there are reports of renewed attacks in some areas, including Logo, Guma, Gwer West and Agatu Local Government Areas.
About two weeks ago, 17 people were reported to have been killed in Agatu council, which the state government condemned.