Soldiers allegedly in reprisal mission razed Benue villages

A replay of Odi 1999 in Bayelsa is happening in Koshinsha Local Government Area in Benue State as residents are fleeing and taking refuge inside bushes. They are reportedly running away from bullets and fires from guns of Nigerian Soldiers  who are said to have returned to avenge the death of over eight of their colleagues reportedly mauled by bandits on Tuesday afternoon.

A report says bandits ambushed and killed eight soldiers on Tuesday in a remote community in Koshinsha LGA in northern Benue State.

Anadolu Agency reported that ”some armed men suspected to be militia bandits killed eight soldiers on Tuesday, leading to deployment of more troops in the volatile area.”

Residents of Gbinde, Bonta,Ulam, Agidi ,Gungul and other villages are sending SOS and asking to be saved from the revenge of the soldiers.

Confirming the incident, Ebuka Ohanusi , a Nigerian soldier, whose father and orderly were killed by the marauding bandits told 774Ngr reporter that “what actually happened in Koshinsha or Oju axis. The villagers killed and burnt 16 soldiers that were on patrol. My father and regular were among them that the village youth killed and burnt. I am not justifying the burning of the houses there, but how I wish you will understand what we are going through here in this country,” Ebuka said.

“My regular married few month ago and now he’s gone. Have you ever lost a father that you are doing the same work with?”

James Atsa’am, a native of one of the villages tried to trace the cause of the incident. He said “There’s a land tussle between two communities of Tiv in Konshisha local government and Igede in Oju local government all of Benue state. That’s the beginning. So from the speech released by the state government yesterday, Wednesday, it’s alleged that the officers of Operation Whirl Stroke were attacked there while on patrol by bandits. It’s the alleged attack by bandits that led to the Army killing and burning unarmed villagers in the entire local government.”

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A Government Official who would not want to be named confirmed the event and said he wished the soldiers exercised little restraint instead of razing whole villages.

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