IMMEDIATE PAST President of the
Senate, Sen. David Mark, has described
as “barbaric, wicked and inhuman” the
massive attacks and destruction of lives
and properties in Agatu Local Government
Area of Benue State by armed men
suspected to be Fulani herdsmen with
thousand of persons suspected killed.
He said, “I’m shocked beyond words
at the extent of destruction I have seen
here in Agatu today. This is unbelievable.
It is unimaginable. Nothing whatsoever
justifies this brazen act of destruction
meted out on the people of Agatu. My
heart bleeds.”
Sen. Mark, who was on an assessment
tour of the war ravaged communities
along with some members of the national
and state assemblies from his Benue South
constituency, urged security operatives
to do all that is needed to bring the
perpetrators to book.
The Senator was of the view that the
attacks could not have happened by accident
but suspected a planned and orchestrated
genocide against Agatu people.
About 10 communities have been razed
down while no fewer than 500 lives have
been lost to the most recent attacks.
Some of the villages visited by Senator
Mark and his team have been deserted
and virtually turned into ghost towns.
The villages are bereft of any social
or economic activities. All the primary
and post primary schools, health centres,
worship centres, as well as the police
stations in the area have been burnt down.
“What is left of a hitherto boisterous
Agatu communities of Aila, Akwu,
Adagbo, Okokolo, Ugboju, Odugbeho,
Ogbaulu, Egba and Obagaji are the debris
of the wreckage,” he said.
However, he told the handful of
survivors of the attacks to remain calm
and law abiding no matter the level
of provocation and assured that the
government would intervene to bring
succour to them.
Senator Mark advised the people to take
advantage of the proposed public hearing
by the joint Senate Committee on the crisis
to bring the matter to the public domain
and seek redress.
Only last week, Senator Mark through
a community leader and former
commissioner in Benue state, Chief John
Ngbede, distributed relief materials to the
survivors.
Items distributed included but not
limited to mattresses, bags of rice, salt,
indomie noodles, clothes as well as
toiletries.
Senator Mark also visited one of the
Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, camps
located in Apa Local Government Area
where he advised the victims to remain
calm, as authorities would do the needful
to ameliorate their situation.
Some of the survivors and community
leaders including Haruna Bawa from
Odugbeho, Yakubu Ameh from Adagbo,
Stephen Mathew from Aila and Aduba
Abraham from Okokolo in their separate
remarks alleged that the Fulani herdsmen
invaded their communities shooting and
killing everything on sight .
They therefore pleaded with the state
and federal governments to intervene and
help rebuild the wrecked villages and
rehabilitate the survivors.
At the moment, they lamented that
besides the dead, a handful of survivors
have lost all means of lively hood
submitting that “life is now worth than
worthless”


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