PDP Decries Killing Of Benue Catholic Priests, Worshippers

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Benue Police Commissioner Fatai Owoseni said around 30 suspected Fulani herdsmen "attacked the venue of a burial ceremony and the church where the two reverend fathers were holding mass", according to AFP.

Two Catholic priest and 11 Parishioners were killed in a early morning attacked at a church. They also burnt down several houses in the community.

However, Daily Sun gathered from a source who hails from Umenger that the bandits suspected to be herdsmen numbering over 50 stormed the Umenger village on Tuesday evening, set the entire village on fire and killed about 15 people.

"The police seem to know nothing of the attacks which have been going on in other villages in Benue State since the Anti-Open Grazing Law came into effect a year ago".

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Hundreds of people have died in clashes this year between herders and farmers in central Nigeria in an outbreak of violence that has put pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari less than a year before an election he wants to contest. "Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshipers is not only vile, evil and satanic, it is clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting", the President said.

"The Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, which is one of the largest dioceses in Nigeria, has been active in providing relief materials, including education and skills acquisition lessons, to victims of the attacks", he added.

Engr Abounu, who spoke yesterday after an emergency security meeting at his office, said Benue was at the moment under attack from all corners as insurgents had invaded the state, picking their targets at will and spilling blood everywhere. Benson Abounu, has declared that the state is now under siege by insurgents.

Benue state lies in Nigeria's so-called Middle Belt that separates the predominantly Muslim north from the largely Christian south. We have said it before and we are saying it again that Nigerians must be on the guard.

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