The recent massacre of 13 Christians in Edikwu District, Ukpogbo, Apa Local Government Area of Benue State, bore the imprint of killer herdsmen rather than that of people fighting over a chieftaincy stool, the International Society for Civil Liberties & Rule of Law (Intersociety) has said.
It dismissed the police theory in a statement issued on Tuesday in Onitsha in neighbouring Anambra State, signed Board Chair Emeka Umeagbalasi and Head, Campaign & Publicity, Amaka Damaris Onuoha, Esq.
In the statement, Intersociety said about the attack that took place between 4am and 5am on Monday, August 10, 2020: “Contrary to the Nigeria Police Force questionable and laughable narrative which was also the case in recent anti Christian butcheries in Southern Kaduna, Kogi and Bayelsa states; the latest narrative by the Force is utterly dismissive and dead on arrival. It is also contradictory as in how ‘the same rancor that was resolved and ended as recently as on 25th May 2020’ could somersault to the point of ‘industrial scale’ slaughtering 13 defenseless persons, missing of many and destruction of properties including houses. This is more so when there have never been reported cases of such killings in connection with the said chieftaincy tussle since 2018.
“Killings generally also have their patterns and motives. Killings associated with chieftaincy tussles have specific patterns, motives and targets including targeted killings and abductions usually perpetrated by hired killers of 1-5 man gang; and ‘not twenty-man butchers’ engaging in mass killings. It is saddening that covering of Jihadist Herdsmen butcheries and protection of their perpetrators in Nigeria has most likely appeared to have been presidentially scripted and handed over to the country’s security and defense chiefs as newest ‘modus operandi’ to use in covering the jihadist atrocities and misleading and diverting the attention of Nigerians and members of the int’l community.
“It is therefore most likely correct to say that the latest Benue anti Christian butchery indisputably and undeniably has imprint and footstep of the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen atrocities including hours or timing of the attack, place and location of the attack, ethno-religious identities of the victims (Benue Christians) of the attack, number of casualties in the attack, missing persons in the attack and properties destroyed in the attack.”