Herders Kill 5,138 People In Benue Since 2015, Says Emergency Agency
Benue state Emrgency Management Agency (BSEMA) has put the number of people killed by suspected herders in the state at 5,138 since 2015.
The agency’s executive secretary, Emmanuel Shior, who announced this to newsmen in Makurdi, said herders carried out the attacks in eighteen out of the 23 local government areas in the state.
According to his breakdown, 1,177 people were killed by herders in 2015, 809 in 2016, 43 in 2017, 440 in 2018, and 174 in 2019.
The SEMA executive secretary also said that herders killed 88 in 2020, 231 in 2021, 172 in 2022 and 104 since Janaury this year.
Reacting, the General Secretary of Miyetti Allah, Mr Saleh Alhassan, in an interview with The PUNCH, said the accusation by SEMA was ‘baseless and politically-motivated’, adding that the association was waiting for Ortom to finish his tenure so he would be dragged before the International Criminal Court, Hague, for ‘genocide’.
“The government of Samuel Ortom is the ones killing us (herders). We have a record of our members being killed by killer cops in Benue. Now that the government is coming to an end, it wants to begin to blame innocent herders for its incompetence. It won’t work.
“The herdsmen he (Shior) is talking about are a figment of his imagination. Are herders killers? Those herdsmen are the ones that will escort him to his political doldrums.
Also speaking, the National President of MACBAN, Baba Ngelzarma, noted that the number of its members killed by the Benue government would also be released soon.
“We have the number of herdsmen killed by the (Benue) government in the years under review. We know how many people the crisis consumed, and will furnish the public with the figures soon,” he said.