Herdsmen kill 15 as Buhari visits Benue
* Suicide bombers kill 3 in Maiduguri
*visit cosmetic – PDP
By Chika Otuchikere, Samuel Ogidan and Austine Tule (Makurdi)
Even as President Muhammadu Buhari visits the troubled states in the northern parts of the country, spates of killings have continued in Benue State with men suspected to be herdsmen reportedly killing 15 persons yesterday in the state.
This is even as a bicycle rider suspected to be a Boko Haram suicide bomber killed three Civilian Joint Task Force members in an attack in Maiduguri.
The Police confirmed the killing of the 15 persons in Benue, and three Civilian-JTF members in the Maiduguri. The deceased in Benue are mainly women and children.
According to eyewitnesses, several houses were set ablaze on Monday morning when youths from Omutu area in Benue State engaged in a fierce struggle for territorial supremacy with the herdsmen. In the end, 15 persons were killed while two herdsmen were reported missing along with some cows.
But before the crises escalated, Mr. Ogwuche Olofu, Chairman of Okpokwu Local Government Area, and the Head of the Fulani community resident in the area initiated a peace meeting, while a search party by the Police recovered one of the two missing herdsmen.
But as the meeting was going on, some herdsmen went on rampage, killing 15 persons and setting several houses ablaze. However, four suspects were arrested in connection with the incident.
Meanwhile, a bicycle rider suspected to be a member of the Boko Haram has killed three persons and injured 17 others around the Muna-Datti area of Maiduguri, Borno State, when he detonated an Explosive Improvised Devise (EID), according to police report.
The bicycle riding suicide bomber was said to have strapped EID around his body, rode into a crowd killing himself in the process.
The Borno State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Joseph Kwaji, in a statement confirmed three people dead and 17 injured.
Kwaji assured that Police Patrol Teams and Explosive Ordinance Officers have been deployed to the scene for an on-the-spot assessment. He added that victims of the attack have been evacuated to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital.
*Buhari’s visit cosmetic- PDP
In the meantime, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has described President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to crises ravaged states as a�?cosmetic and a political afterthoughta�?.
The party also decried the continuous harassment, arrests and detention of its members in various parts of the country by security operatives it described as a�?agents and officials of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled federal governmenta�?, asking the international community to intervene.
PDP spokesman, Kola Ologbondiyan, in a statement expressed shock at the Presidenta��s dismissal of public criticism of his delay in visiting the troubled areas as expected of him.
The party said Nigerians were distressed by claimed Buharia��s comparison of casualty figure in the states a�?as if one life is not as important as hundred othersa�?, stressing that such disposition has further exposed the value attached by the APC-controlled administration to the lives of Nigerians.
Ologbondiyan said the Presidenta��s failure to visit the victims to directly assure them have proved the APC disdain towards the feelings and wellbeing of the masses.
“When well-meaning Nigerians said the visits were cosmetic and a political gambit, some apologists of the APC dismissed it as mere political statement. Now, the action and comments by the President during his whistle stop visit to Taraba state have bared it all.
“Not only that our dear President holed himself in the comfort of the Taraba State Government House for a brief meeting with few government officials, he did not visit the victims to directly commiserate and allay their fears with assurances of steps to ensure justice and end the carnage, as his allusions almost re-opened old wounds,” the party said.
The party also accused the APC government of a�?using the apparatus of state power in their desperation to cow and subjugate opposition, suppress constitutionally guaranteed freedom of speech and association in our country.
“Opposition members are now being arrested, manhandled and detained, with some of them having their family houses demolished for holding and expressing opinion even under a democracy”.
It claimed that its members and supporters in Edo, Rivers, Kaduna, Kogi, Borno and Adamawa states were being hounded for a�?particularity exposing corruption, abuses, constitutional violations and incompetence of the APC administrationa�?.
Herdsmen kill 15 as Buhari visits Benue