A sleepy community, Iye, in Guma Local Government Area recently came under heavy attacks from terrorists, suspected to be herdsmen.
Comr. Andy Aondongu Anzah, the President General,Tiv Youth Organization (TYO) Worldwide said eye witness account told him the attacks happened not far from security formations.
He said the attack, according to the displaced victims of the community began at about 8:30pm when the locals had all exhausted their activities for the day and were preparing to retire.
He said, “as revealed by some surviving victims of the onslaught, shortly before gunshots started raining on the community, men of the Nigerian Army has arrived at the community, patrolling and interviewing the locals, which the locals found strange and suspicious as a similar occurrence in the past brought about a similar outcome. Soon, people in the community began seeking escape routes in fear of the unknown.”
“Hardly had a handful of people left when the night exploded in gunfire” he said
He said the heavy presence of military men who had arrived earlier and other security agents, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps already posted at the place didn’t atop the attack as scores were killed, houses and other property, including foodstuff and vehicles burnt to ashes.
“During my visit to the community at the early hours of today, Monday, 21st May, 2023, survivors of the gruesome attack accused the Nigerian army of collaborating with the attackers, saying they are safer without the presence of any conventional security, especially the Nigerian army. According to them, both the men of the Nigerian Army and the attackers who were in civilian attire shot at them and burnt houses” he said in a statement.
“At the time of my visit, there was still heavy military presence in the community which has instilled more fear in the people and has led to them evacuating from the community in droves” he stated.
He also noted that it “was a pitiful sight as old women, children, pregnant women and aged men trudged along in extreme difficulty, trying to escape in fear of a further attack given the suspicious presence of the military in the community.”
“So far, over seventeen corpses are recovered”.he said.
He called on the “Federal Government of Nigeria, Benue State Government, Tiv Traditional Council, Mdzough U Tiv, every well-meaning Tiv son and daughter, as well as every well-meaning Nigerian and the international community to rise up to the defense of Tiv people who are been killed helplessly in their homes ceaselessly.”
He said it is “carefully orchestrated genocide and Tiv people all over the world are hereby called upon by Tiv Youth Organization (TYO) to rise up to the occasion.”
“We strongly call for the investigation of the role of the Nigerian Army is this gruesome attack on Iye community” he said.
“We also call on the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) to send a team of support to help evacuate the fleeing victims of the community to safer places where they will take shelter” he further stated.