Irate Tiv youths Saturday gang raped a nine-year-old Fulani girl to death at the Makurdi local government area of Benue state, Per Second News gathered. The rampaging youths in reprisal attack to the killing of 10 people by suspected Fulani insurgents attacked the innocent girl killing her in the process.
According to a source, the Fulani insurgents earlier attacked the community of Mballagh council ward Saturday killing 10 people and raping some women also.
The Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Daniel Ezeala, confirmed the incident and said investigation into the matter had commenced.
Some of the survivors of the attack narrated that they had gone to the farm to fetch firewood when the insurgents attacked them. They claimed that some of the women were raped by the attackers.
The leader of the Fulani community in the state who is also the state chairman of the Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Haruna Garus, confirmed the incident, “They raped a nine-year old Fulani girl to death without any provocation which is unfortunate and unacceptable,” he said.
While condemning the attack, the Ter Tyosin and paramount ruler of Naka Local Government Area, HRH Daniel Abomste, said that it was unfortunate that the same insurgents that attacked Tiv communities recently were at it again.
Once upon a time, the Tiv and Fulani cohabited peacefully. But today, the situation in Benue State has changed, as several factors have combined to pitch the two groups against each other, leading to attacks and counter-attacks that have claimed lives on both sides.
Former Lagos Police Commissioner, Abubakar Tsav, recently blamed the elders in Benue State for maintaining a ‘conspiracy of silence’ while the crisis lingers.
“I must add that even we the elders in Benue have not taken the matter very seriously. The Fulanis have lost their cows and human beings just like the Tiv have lost so many people – young and old – with many houses burnt, including the destruction of seedlings and farm produce.
“Our people have become refugees in their own land. The situation has led to people running helter-skelter in search of refuge. The Fulani own many cows and they do not play with their cows; once you do anything to a Fulani man’s cow he will exact revenge no matter how long it takes.”
“The whole thing started like something very insignificant but it is now deteriorating,” Tsav said.