The people of Mbator in Shangev-Tiev of Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue State on Friday claimed that at least 70 innocent persons were killed during an invasion by soldiers.
The rural Bonta village of Mbator in Shangev-Tiev of Konshisha LGA and the Okpute-Ainu in Oju LGA have endured several decades of land tussle which usually prompt the deployment of security operatives to quell crisis.
Renewed hostility broke between both communities five days ago and this led to the deployment of soldiers.
However, a local militia allegedly ambushed and killed 11 soldiers, a development which led to the military invasion.
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Addressing a press conference in Makurdi, Benue capital, on Friday morning, a group known as Shangev-Tiev Assembly (STA), stated that at least 15 other surrounding communities have been destroyed by the military since the aerial and ground raid against the villagers began three days ago.
One Elder Tyoh Jude, who spoke on behalf of STA, said, “The army has so far razed and demolished farms, schools, hospitals and residences of Bonta, Tse-Jembe, Tse-Anyom, Gbinde, Mbaakpur, Aku, Agidi, Gungul, Adoka, Guleya, Awajir, Shiliki, Achoho and Ullam in Gwer Local Government Area, and are still planning to do same to other neighbouring towns within Konshisha LGA.
“Our unarmed people are being killed intentionally in large numbers by armed personnel of the Nigerian Army. Presently, over 70 persons are reported dead and more than 100 people are missing, mostly women, children and the elderly and hundreds of thousands displaced with its attendant humanitarian consequences.”
They called on the Federal Governments to prevail on the military to stop the ongoing killings of their people with immediate effect, while urging the Benue State government to ensure that the land under dispute is amicably demarcated.
“A panel of enquiry to include civil society organizations should be setup to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the crises and the roles of the military. Anyone found wanting should be punished in accordance with the laws of the land. Compensations should be given to all victims in Shangev Tiev,” the group stated.