At least one thousand seven hundred and seventy-three innocent persons have been killed in Benue State by Fulani herdsmen between 2018 till date, Local Government Chairmen in the state have revealed.
Local Government Chairmen and leaders of socio-cultural organisations in the state made the revelation on Monday during a press conference in Makurdi the state capital.
According to them, the casualties reflect just the number of corpses recovered from different attacks across the state.
The local leaders noted that the armed herdsmen had taken the advantage of open grazing to carry out the gruesome killing of peasant farmers who were only working on their farmlands.
The council bosses further lamented the negative impact of open grazing which according to them have resulted in attacks on communities in different parts of Benue State.
They stressed that the sad events have adversely affected the local economy as farmers are prevented from accessing their farms and local markets are also deserted for fear of imminent invasion by the killers.
Speaking at the conference, Ukum council boss, Steve Ayua, said the herdsmen no longer come to the state with their cattle but with AK-47 rifle.
He said, “It is on record that open grazing has led to the invasion of farming communities by Fulani herdsmen leading to massive killings and maiming of people, including children, raping of women, destruction of property, loss of livelihoods and displacement of persons.
“The negative impact of open grazing which often results in attacks on communities in different parts of Benue State has adversely affected the local economy as farmers are prevented from accessing their farms and local markets are also deserted for fear of imminent invasion by the killers.”
Ayua stressed that it was by the grace of God that the state Governor, Samuel Ortom was able to escape death when he was attacked by the suspected Fulani militia.
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President Putin disclosed this when he received the Nigerian Ambassador to Russia, Professor Abdullahi Y. Shehu, who presented his Letter of Credence to him at the Grand Kremlin Palace.
On specific areas of bilateral cooperation with Nigeria, President Putin assured of “very promising expansion on substantive dialogue on topical issues related to maintaining stability in the world hydrocarbon markets, combating terrorism and countering religious extremism.”
He said his country was open to mutually beneficial partnership with all countries without exception but based on equality and respect for each other’s interests, while observing the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of each other.
Putin declared that Russia was ready for multifaceted interfaces for mutual interests with the countries that their new envoys had come to represent in Russia.
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The discovery was made on Thursday December 2. Prior to this, it was believed a mad man lived in the building.
Items recovered from the building include gun bullets, tear-gas canisters and water.
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