Agatu massacre: It’s genocide against my people –David Mark

Laments death of over 500 constituents

From Fred Itua, Abuja

IMMEDIATE-PAST President of the Senate, Senator David Mark has described as barbaric, wicked and inhuman, the massive attacks and destruction of lives and property in Agatu Local Government Area of Benue State by armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
Senator Mark who was on assessment tour of the war ravaged communities along with some members of the National and State Assemblies from his Benue South constituency urged security operatives to do all that is needed to bring the perpetrators to book.
He said: “I am shocked beyond words at the extent of destruction I have seen here in Agatu today. This is unbelievable. It is unimaginable. Nothing whatsoever justifies this brazen act of destruction meted out on the people of Agatu. My heart bleeds.”
The senator was of the view that the attacks could not have happened by accident, but suspected a planned and orchestrated genocide against his people of Agatu. About 10 communities have been razed down to the rubbles while no fewer than 500 lives have been lost in the recent hostilities. Some of the villages visited by Senator Mark and his team have been deserted and are virtually ghost towns.
The villages are totally bereft of any social or economic activities. All the primary and post primary schools, health centres , worship centres as well as the police station in the area have been burnt down.
What is left of a hitherto boisterous Agatu communities of Aila, Akwu, Adagbo, Okokolo, Ugboju, Odugbeho, Ogbaulu, Egba and Obagaji are the debris of the wreckage .
He however told the handful of survivors of the attacks to remain calm and law abiding no matter the level of provocation just as he assured that the government would intervene to bring succour to them.
Senator Mark advised the people to take advantage of the proposed public hearing by the joint Senate committee on the crisis to bring the matter to the public domain and seek redress.
Some of the survivors and community leaders including Haruna Bawa from Odugbeho, Yakubu Ameh from Adagbo, Stephen Mathew from Aila and Aduba Abraham from Okokolo in their separate remarks alleged that the Fulani herdsmen invaded their communities shooting and killing every thing on sight .
They therefore pleaded with the state and federal governments to intervene and help rebuild the wrecked villages and rehabilitate the survivors .
They lamented that besides the dead, a handful of survivors have lost all means of livelyhood, submitting that “life is now worthless.”

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