Military men in Shanghai-Tiev, a local government in Konshish in the state of Benue, allegedly killed at least 50 unarmed civilians after reports that two soldiers went missing in the community, multiple sources told SaharaReporters on Thursday.
Sahara reporters gathered that the soldiers disappeared during a routine patrol in the community days after the communal crisis between the cities in Konshisha and Oju LGA.
According to reports, three soldiers initially went missing, but one of them was later found.
Swirl Operation (OPWS) troops were reported to have attacked the community on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.
The operation, which involved the deployment of military helicopters using rocket launchers, killed many unarmed civilians and destroyed property worth billions of naira.
About 200 houses, including the Tyoor Unaha Kôkô palace in Agidi and several cars in the village, which is now deserted, were set on fire by soldiers.
Reporting the crime to the Sahara Reporters, the youth leader said: “We lost over 50 unarmed civilians, more than five members of my family were killed by the Nigerian army. There are no bandits in Shangev-Tiev, a military general in Makurdi uses the army to support his tribe in the centuries-old war over the demarcation of the border.
“For more than 3 days, unarmed civilians have been constantly subjected to a military attack by Nigeria. Fulanis, which controls the armed forces of Nigeria, is assisting its numerous soldiers who have been mobilized by Miyetti Allah in terrorizing civilians.
“They continue to kill and destroy properties. How can you use a fighter jet for harmless and armless citizens while negotiating a ransom with a bandit and terrorists?
“As we speak now, most of the residents have left their homes and taken refuge in Tse-Agbaragba.”
Another resident has asked the government to redeploy troops ravaging the community to various highways where Boko Haram and livestock farmers are currently terrorizing and killing Nigerians.
He said, “It’s pretty sad amid uncertainty in other parts of Benue, Konshisha will be targeted by security staff. My village has been reduced to ashes for no reason. This is not Boko Haram. Mass destruction and killings are happening. The elderly, women and children are not left out among those killed and displaced. What human meaning would justify such an attack and destruction?
“For days now, our people have been on fire, displaced and massacred.”
Another resident said, “My grandfather’s house is in ruins, I hear. In 2001, the army burned down my father’s village and killed my men. 20 years later, the army set fire to my mothers ’home. 20 years after Zaki Biam, the army returned to Benue in the same way. This is not the way to go. ”
Meanwhile, Governor Samuel Ortom pledged to restore peace to Konshishi and Ojuu as he reported to reporters following an expanded Security Council meeting with stakeholders from two areas of local government.
Ortom, who reiterated the need for Benue people to support security agents deployed to stop the crisis in their areas, warned people of attacks on security agents, which would make the situation extremely difficult to contain.
He explained that as part of the measures to eliminate the land dispute between Konshisha and Oyu, it was agreed in the budget to demarcate the border and set a day for exercise.
According to the governor, a few days before the agreed date, the crisis broke out again and security agents were deployed to control its escalation when troops sent to Konshish were attacked with two military personnel still missing.
Ortom condemned the practice of some communities to engage the militia in the fight with their neighbors. However, he promised that such violent traffickers would be forced to face the consequences of their actions.