At least 50 Nigerians have been killed this New Year in a wave of violence unchallenged by security agents in three states.
The latest casualities were recorded in Benue, where herdsmen reportedly killed scores of residents, including one expectant mother in Guma and Logo Local Government Area of the state.
Governor Samuel Ortom confirmed the attack. He said casualties could be more.
He confirmed the attack after the Benue State Security Council meeting held today.
Reports say six livestock guards were also killed in Sanghev ward.
Ortom had visited victims of the attack receiving treatment from gunshot injuries at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital.
The Chief Medical Director confirmed to the governor that they received 11 bodies and nine injured victims out of which three died while being treated.
The killings prompted the emergency state security council meeting which was chaired by the governor.
Despite the law banning open grazing in Benue state, the herdsmen attacks against communities in the state have not ceased.
Meanwhile President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed shock and outrage at earlier reports of killings of innocent persons in Omoku, Rivers State and the traditional ruler, the Etum Numana, Dr Gambo Makama, and his wife in Sango Local Government Area of Kaduna State in the New Year.
The President, who described the incidents as “reprehensible and unacceptable,” in a statement issued by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, directed law enforcement agencies in both states to intensify their current efforts in order to speedily bring the perpetrators to face the wrath of the law.
“I have always maintained that nothing justifies the taking of the life of an innocent person,” he said, adding that “people in our communities must learn to live peacefully.”
Buhari appealed to the communities affected not to embark on reprisal attacks, but allow the security agencies to carry out comprehensive investigations to properly punish the culprits.
He commiserated with the families of the victims and wished the injured faster recovery.