The Story of Survivors of the Benue IDP Camp Massacre
Some are still in shock and appalled by the horrific gun herdsmen massacre on Good Friday, in which about 40 IDPs and members of their host community were killed at the LGEA Mgbani Primary School camp in Guma Local Government of Nyievi Council, LGA, Benue State.
On that fateful day, according to an eyewitness, armed robbers attacked around 9 p.m. on the Makurdi-Lafia stretch of road, where there was a police checkpoint just opposite the camp.
They fired randomly after apparently being on stop and search duty at the time. The attack took the entire community by surprise and left behind women, many of whom were pregnant, children, and the elderly in an IDP camp, as well as the host community, which could not escape until the gunmen caught up with them.
The attackers did not spare the traditional ruler of the community, Tyoor Nyiev, Chief Bernard Shaw, who, in addition to losing his two children, had his cars and motorcycles vandalized and burned. Observations showed that the gunmen mowed down most of the dead in a classroom that had been converted into a dormitory for the refugees.
They were allegedly shot in their sleep, like common criminals on death row.
Only a few of them got out of the classroom alive, but most of them are fighting for their lives in the hospital. About 40 people were left in critical condition in the attack, many of them with bullet and machete wounds.
Some of the IDPs who survived the attack, including Shawa, the district head of the community who lost two children, recounted their ordeals and gave heartbreaking accounts of how they miraculously survived the attack and how their loved ones were shot dead. robbers in their presence.
In his report, amid screams and cries from families in the community, Shawa recounted how armed herdsmen invaded the community between 10:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. that day, saying, “I was sitting outside with my children when we started hearing gunfire across the road.” “We were all shocked and started running away from the armed men.” Unfortunately, my two children, a boy and a girl, did not survive. They did not escape; the attackers shot them dead.
“And since we have a checkpoint on the way, displaced people usually turn to LGEA Primary School.” Gunmen also opened fire on IDPs and community members, shooting and killing our people when they spoke their language.
“Before this particular attack, they also attacked our community on February 25, 2023.” That day, they killed 12 of our people.
On her part, Mnena Okega, a 35-year-old nursing mother of three, narrated how her 10-year-old daughter’s throat was cut by marauders for daring.
“We all went to sleep in the classrooms where we sleep when suddenly we heard gunshots,” Okega said.
“No one knew what was going on; it was pandemonium.” I started calling him by my children’s names and telling them to wake up and run.
“My first daughter, who was 10 years old, was one of the first to get out of the window.” But unfortunately, thinking she was running, she ran away with armed men moving around looking for someone to kill. One of them grabbed her, and even as she was crying for help and begging them to spare her, one of them pulled out a knife and cut my innocent daughter’s throat.
“It was a sight no mother would want to see.” This is what they did to me. They killed my daughter, who was crying and begging for her life. They cut her throat like an animal. I couldn’t help her because I was running with the other kids, and I thought they would spare her because she was a little girl.
“I was wrong; they killed her in cold blood.” “I lived with trauma all my life, and it’s hard to forgive the shepherds, and I know my daughter’s blood cries out to God for justice.”
Source; The Vanguard paper Online
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