Herdsmen Kill Parishioners In Benue; Seek Death Of Businessman

The alleged killing of Rev Father Joseph Gor, Felix Tyolaha, and other dedicated members of St Ignatius Quasi Parish, Ukpor, Mbalom in Gwer West Local Government Council of Benue have been condemned by Christian agencies across Nigeria.

A statement by its Director of
Communications, Rev Fr Moses Lorapuu, said that the attacks were
perpetrated by herdsmen who stormed the Mbalom community, killed
parishioners during the morning mass at the church.

Presently the
church is in search of some of their prominent businessmen and
missionaries who are the major sponsors of activities in the church,
allegedly on the death roll of the invading herdsmen.

We
gathered that Victor Nwankwo, Silvester Okowa and three others were
suspected to be targeted at, during the early morning bloodbath by
Fulani herdsmen. These men according to reports are the major
benefactors of the Catholic Church development in Benue state. They
herdsmen allegedly claim that Victor Nwankwo and his four colleagues was
amongst the missionaries that converted hundreds of Muslims to
Christians.

According to investigations, Victor Nwankwo and his
fellow missionaries are yet to be found as they have become a search
agenda in the list of Africa’s most dreaded insurgent group.

The
Diocese expressed regret at the nonchalant attitude of the security
agencies in containing the killings. It said the herdsmen, who stormed
the community, burnt down houses, destroyed crops and killed people. The
church, therefore, urged the relevant authorities to stop the killings
in the Benue valley.

Rev.Lorapuu said the Diocese had been active
in providing food and relief materials to Internally Displaced Persons
(IDP’s) since the onset of hostilities in the state and wondered why it
could be marked as a target of attacks. “The attack on the priests is an
attack on everything that we ever stood for and believed in,” says
Lorapuu. Meanwhile, concerted efforts to get reaction from the Benue
Police Command failed as its Public Relations Officer, ASP Moses Yamu,
was not forthcoming with remarks. Rev. Fr. Gor had before the attack
written on Facebook; “Living in fear. The fulani herdsmen are still
around us in Mbalom. They refuse to go. They still go grazing around us.
No weapons to defend ourselves”. Herdsmen in the early hours of the
morning attacked a Catholic Church and parishioners who went for 5.30
a.m. mass. Reports say the bodies of the dead have been taken to St.
Theresa’s Hospital Makurdi.

Source:- Vanguardngr