Nigeria: Protest Erupts in Benue over Church Massacre by Fulani Herdsmen

There is an ongoing protest in Benue state Nigeria capital city of Makurdi over the killing of two priests and 17 worshipers by armed Fulani herdsmen.

Protests erupted in major areas of the city as news of the attack filtered into the town. Some youths took to the streets, blocked roads and made bonfires. 

Among the victims killed by Fulani Herdsmen were two priests; Rev Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha, two primary school headmasters; Peter and Ape Chia, a secondary school principal; Michael Tor and 14 other worshipers.

The victims had gone to early morning mass at St Ignatius Quasi Parish when their attackers who had laid ambush on the community attacked them around 5.30 am and killed them. 

The Fulani Herdsmen extended their terror to other villagers burnt their houses numbering about 100. 

Angered by the news, youths took to the streets, blocked roads and made bonfires which caused tension.

Motorists and commuters diverted for alternative routes to get to their desired destination as schools quickly alerted parents/guardians to pick up their children/wards from schools even before closing hours. 

But, for the timely intervention of security operatives who took charge of flash points, the situation would have degenerated into lawlessness when corpses of the dead victims arrived Makurdi to be taken into the morgue.

Also, the Wadata, Wurukum and Modern markets were hurriedly closed even as other shops in the metropolis were also shut as hoodlums attempted to take advantage of the situation to cause more trouble.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed condolence over the killings in the state.

The president’s condolence was published via his official Facebook page on Tuesday, April 24. He described the killing as despicable and unfortunate, adding that some persons were trying to stoke up religious crises in the country.

He however assured the people of Benue that the assailants will be caught and brought to justice.

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