Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has described the recent killing of Ebonyi and Benue indigenes by herdsmen at the border between both states as a wicked and satanic act.
He spoke on Tuesday when he visited victims of the attack at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital (AEFUTHA).
More than 30 persons have been killed in the attacks which occurred on Saturday although locals said the death toll is over 50.
The governor said he could not understand the raping of little children by the killer herdsmen.
“What I saw this afternoon is nothing but an act of wickedness and Satanism.
“I do not know for any reason why people should be raping two years old little children, putting knives on 1-year-old little children, killing mothers, killing fathers, for what reason!” he said.
The governor also condemned the Deputy Governor of Benue State, Benson Abounu for allegedly saying that the Benue state government is yet to ascertain the identity of the victims.
The identity of the victims has been in contention since the incident which claimed many lives.
Our correspondent gathered that though the communities attacked are geographically located in Benue, they are mostly Izzi (a dialect and clan in Ebonyi) speaking people.
The affected communities are said to have been wrongly places in Benue state during state creation and which have been a source of dispute between the two states
Due to the closeness of the communities to Abakaliki, the state capital, the victims were rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Umahi advised the deputy governor to stop playing politics with such a delicate matter involving human lives.
“But what worries me so much is that the Deputy Governor of Benue state came on air to say that they don’t know whether these people are from Benue state or they are from Ebonyi state -that is the height of irresponsibility.
“We know that we have boundary problems with Benue state but we have a buffer zone and this place is not within the buffer zone. These people are residents of Benue state, paying their taxes in Benue state, having facilities, everything in Benue state.
“Yes, they are Ebonyi indigenes. We have indigenes of the southeast in Edo state, in Rivers, in Akwa-Ibom, in so many other locations in this country even beyond the shores of this country.
“But that doesn’t mean that security-wise we are responsible for them. These people even if they were not from Ebonyi state and this attack occurred, they will still have to come to Ebonyi state, we will still have sheltered them and given them proper medical treatment. Everything should not be reduced to blame games.”
Umahi also urged the people of Benue to form their own vigilante to secure themselves and stop blaming President Muhammadu Buhari.
He vowed to assist the communities in Benue with a large concentration of Ebonyi indigenous people to set up their own security outfit similar to Ebube Agụ security outfit to enable them to protect themselves
“It is important that the people of Benue state should form their own Ebubeagu to protect their own people instead of blaming Mr. President.
“Mr. President cannot be everywhere. What we are going to do since no one is taking care of these ones and we don’t want them to complain is that we are going to form Ebubeagu in these communities that are Ebonyi people but they are residents of Benue state.
“They are paying their taxes there but because we cannot rightly ask the security agencies from Ebonyi state to go over to Benue state and protect the lives of the people of Benue state, they will not obey us.
“We are going to send our youths to that place to go and protect the people over there, it doesn’t matter who owns them, the most important thing is to protect their lives,” he said.
He warned criminal elements to stay clear of Ebonyi state as security agencies and Ebube Agụ are on the alert to fight them to a standstill.