This week, we see an increased spread in violence in Benue state, as well as a sustained series of attacks in Plateau state. This comes on the back of the upcoming swearing in of President-Elect Bola Tinubu next week on the 29 th of May. Secretary Blinken has imposed visa restrictions on certain high-profile individuals, tacitly confirming the cries of the opposition since the election-that the elections were not free and fair and were very possibly rigged for this particular outcome. And in Anambra, a convoy of US Embassy vehicles was attacked, and at least four people killed.

 


 

At least four killed in attack on US Embassy convoy in Anambra

At least four people were killed in an attack on a convoy of US Embassy vehicles in Anambra on 16 May 2023. On 17 May Secretary of State Anthony Blinken issued the following statement:

Unknown assailants yesterday attacked a convoy of two U.S. government vehicles in the Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra state, Nigeria. The convoy was carrying nine Nigerian nationals: five employees of the U.S. Mission to Nigeria and four members of the Nigeria Police Force. They were traveling in advance of a planned visit by U.S. Mission personnel to a U.S.-funded flood response project in Anambra.

We do not yet know the motive for the attack, but we have no indications at this time that it was targeted against our Mission. The assailants killed at least four members of the convoy, and U.S. Mission personnel are working urgently with Nigerian counterparts to ascertain the location and condition of the members of the convoy who are unaccounted for.

We condemn in the strongest terms this attack. We will work closely with our Nigerian law enforcement colleagues in seeking to bring those responsible to justice.

The United States has no greater priority than the safety and security of our personnel. We express our heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed in the attack, and pledge to do everything possible to safely recover those who remain missing. We deeply value our relationship with our Locally Employed Staff and our partnership with Nigeria. The United States reaffirms its commitment to the people of Nigeria to assist in the fight against violence and insecurity. https://www.state.gov/attack-on-u-s-convoy-in-nigeria/

 


 

Continuing attacks in Benue

Three members of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, the BSCVGs, have been killed, along with three others, in attacks on communities in Guma Local Government Area. The victims were killed last week Tuesday evening when the bandits attacked Tse Gyer and Ayem communities, located within the Mbawa Council Ward of Guma. Dr Emmanuel Shior, the executive secretary of Benue State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), confirmed the killings once the victims had been transported to a local morgue in Daudu. The victims were identified as Timothy Mbawa, Sunday Igber, and Aondowase Asema of the BSCVgs, and Akombo Igyever, Sunday Semaka and Aloysius Ayua were civilians. According to Dr. Shior, the attack led to the displacement of many local residents, who had been taken to the local IDP camps in Daudu and Ukpiam, Guma LGA. Also speaking on the attack, Lt Col Pal Hemba said “Three members of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards, and other hunters were killed, Tuesday, by suspected bandits while on a joint patrol with policemen. They were ambushed by armed herdsmen between Ortese and Ngban villages. The armed herders went away with the weapons and handsets belonging to the deceased. And they have been calling to claim that the government in the state promised to give them land in the area to settle and graze.” The local district head of Mbaniyar community, Chief Oliver Achado, appealed once more to the Federal Government to take its responsibility for the people of Benue state seriously by deploying adequate security personnel to the state, and to Guma lGA in particular. He says people are becoming IDPs in their own home state due to the bandits, adding that “It is a disgrace that none of us can go to our homes or farmlands. None of us are from Daudu town but we have left our villages to live in Daudu town. As the rainy season has come, nobody can go to the farm. Those who went yesterday, Tuesday, were killed, six of them. We have been appealing to the federal government through our Governor Samuel Ortom, but we have not seen any change. We are again appealing to our President, Muhammadu Buhari to send security to come down and defend us. In Daudu alone, you see IDPs camp one, two and three. Others are sleeping in uncompleted buildings. When the rain comes, they suffer from it. All our schools are not functioning, all the schools in Mbawa, Asiriu, Mbagwen, Mbabai, Mbadwen, Uvir are closed. All the teachers and their pupils are in the IDP camps because of the attacks. So, we are begging the federal Government to come to our aid.” However, the Police PR officer, Catherine Anene, says the police have yet to receive official confirmation of the incident. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2023/05/armed-herders-kill-three-benue-communityvolunteer-guards-three-others/

 


 

Still in Benue State, no less than 28 people have been killed in attacks in the same Guma LGA over the last few weeks. The attacks are said to be happening on a daily basis, and locals are accusing the Nigerian Army and local police of complicity. A local resident, identified only as Barnabas, confirmed the ongoing attacks on the council wars, saying that the soldiers and police stationed there to protect the people were not doing anything to protect the community against the herdsmen, who had sophisticated weapons. Barnabas also accuses the police of extracting fees of around N100 000 to search for bodies that are killed. “Since 2018 up till today our community and other communities in Guma local government have been under Fulani herdsmen attacks. But now it is getting worse especially since two weeks now, we have not rested in this community. Between Sunday and Wednesday, they have killed 28 persons. On Wednesday being yesterday they killed seven, on Tuesday they killed eight, on Monday they killed seven and on Sunday it was six they killed. So that is how it continues, it has become a daily massacre and it is even close to Internal Displaced Camp in Daudu in Mbawa Council Ward and the army camp is also there. In fact, soldiers can see those Fulanis with weapons and they will not do anything. Last week the divisional police officer in Guma police division; I don’t know how he managed to get the Fulanis and called all our chiefs and some elders for a meeting with the Fulanis. At the meeting he told our people that the Fulanis want to come and live in our community and that we should allow them to live with us. Recently the same Fulanis killed 36 persons and today they are her saying that they want to come and live with the same people. There is military and police presence and every day, they are killing our people; not one, not two, not three. Each and every day the killing continues, and the federal government and security agencies are not saying anything. This is how people are dying every day. This is genocide; they want to swipe us out. Among the seven persons they killed on Thursday, four of them were volunteer guards and three were our comrades. They were killed and one was found and two are still in the bush. It is now that the people are preparing to use vehicles to go for the second time to look for their corpses and security agents are here. We even went to the police station here and DPO aske that we should look for N100 000 to give them to escort us to look for their corpses.” Barnabas also accuses the police of knowing the location of the Fulanis, as when they went to recover corpses in the forest, at one point they were told not to go any farther by the police, that the Fulanis are nearby, “how did they know? For me the security agencies are accomplices in the ongoing killings in our communities.” https://saharareporters.com/2023/05/11/breaking-bloodbath-benue-fulani-herdsmen-kill-28-residents-guma-local-council-army

 


 

Attacks in Plateau State

Attacks in nine communities have led to more than 100 people dying in northern Nigeria. Fulani herders attacked houses in villages across Mangu region, Plateau state, northern Nigeria. These coordinated attacks have gone on for the last four months and have left more than 200 dead in total all over the region, excluding the fatalities from this past week. On Wednesday, the herders attacked villages in the region also, although those fatalities are not yet known. Solomon Maren, a lawmaker in Nigeria’s National Assembly, explained that most of those killed were women and children. He also urged the federal government to take seriously the increased requests for security in the region. “I urge the president to order the security agencies to move into the area with immediate effect to curb the killings, as well as for the National Emergency Management Authority and other wellspirited organizations to also move in with relief materials for the wounded and survivors of the dastardly act.” Patrick Toholde, a regional councilor from Mangu, told media that his constituents were “going about their normal business until yesterday morning” before they were attacked, and that, on Tuesday morning, “they saw an influx of Fulani herdsmen from neighboring villages moving their cattle and belongings, then the resident Fulani followed suit. (The Fulani herders) went and camped between Washna and Kombiji villages before launching the attack.” He insisted that though they do not know the reason that prompted the recent attacks, the violence was “deliberate, as it was well coordinated and executed despite security presence.” He complained about law enforcement, that even though the violence was sustained for hours, the police were slow to respond. “As a matter of fact, there was no rapid response as it took security agencies hours to respond to distress calls made to them by the local government authority. Government is not on top of the situation as far as my assessment is concerned, they need to do more and be proactive in dealing with such situations.” A local resident, whose brother was shot by the Fulani militia insisted that the Christian villages are the ones under attack.: As we speak, the community is on attack and no assistance has come to them. (This is) A collaborated and calculated attack not only in my community but in the entire local government area by Fulani herdsmen. (The Fulani are) chasing inhabitants from their ancestral lands to claim it.” Another local has accused the government of having no interest in resolving this crisis; “rapid response is poor due to perhaps lack of manpower from the security agencies. I think they were overwhelmed by the Fulani militia. Government will always tell you they are on top of the situation; that’s just in principle but in reality, it is, a no. as a Christian- I think religious and traditional leaders have a huge role to play because they are closer to the people, but it also depends on how the government is using them to foster peace in these communities.” https://www.pillarcatholic.com/p/nigeria-suspected-fulani-militia

 


 

US sanctions officials believed responsible for rigging elections

The United States of America has imposed sanctions on certain Nigerian officials, accusing them of possible interference in the recent elections. In a tweet on Monday, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said “We have imposed visa restrictions on specific individuals who undermined the democratic process during Nigeria’s 2023 elections. We remain committed to supporting Nigerian aspirations to strengthen democracy and rule of law.”

Pregnant woman and baby among those killed in latest Benue attack

The UCHEN COMMUNITY is a roadside community about 10kms from Makurdi town on the Makurdi-Naka Road.

The attack is reported to have started about 3am in the early hours of Tuesday 16/05/23 and lasted to about 5am. The military had been called but no immediate response until after the attack. A woman was hacked to death in her bed while sleeping. A baby was also hacked to death. One victim died of a heart attack.

At the time the Priest arrived (about 7am), he counted 6 dead bodies:

*3 men – bullet wounds and matchete cuts. *1 woman – bullets and matchete cuts.

*1 baby – matchete cuts.

*1 man – heart attack.

The names of the victims:

1. Iorkyegh NYIUMA

2. Zambe NYIUMA

3. baby

4. Friday AENYI

5. Aondofa GONDO

6. Aondoawase NYIUMA (Heart Attack).

 

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