OrderPaperToday – Immediate past president of the Senate, Senator David Mark has classified the attacks on and killings of the Agatu people of Benue State by Fulani herdsmen as a genocide against the Idoma nation.
He described as barbaric, wicked and inhuman the massive attacks and destruction of lives and properties in the affected communities, saying: “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.”
A statement by his media assistant, Paul Mumeh, said Senator Mark said these while on an assessment tour of the crisis-ravaged communities in the company of some members of the National and state Assemblies from Benue South senatorial district.
Mark who urged security operatives to do all that is needed to bring the aggressors to book, said the attacks was a planned and orchestrated genocide against his people of Agatu as it could not have happened by accident.
He however advised survivors of the attacks to remain calm and law abiding no matter the level of provocation and urged them to take advantage of a proposed public hearing by the Senate on the crisis to bring the matter to public domain and seek redress.
Senator Mark also visited one of the Internally Displaced Persons ( IDP) camps located in Apa local government area where he counseled 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 in sight.
They pleaded with the state and federal governments to intervene and help rebuild the ravaged villages and rehabilitate the survivors.
The statement said about 10 communities have been raze down to rubble with no fewer than 500 lives have been lost to the recent hostilities, noting that some of the villages visited by Senator Mark and his team have been deserted and virtually turned into ghost towns.