Two local governments in Benue State have reported at least 17 deaths in different villages.
Our correspondent was told by locals that the separate incidents occurred within the past three days in Agatu and Kastina-Ala local government areas.
According to witnesses, 15 people were killed in Kastina-Ala communities by armed invaders, while the remaining two died in Agatu in circumstances some blamed on cultist activities.
Katsina-Ala residents alleged that though the town appeared peaceful recently, the remaining inhabitants were still being killed in deserted rural communities.
Local residents say they are being kidnapped and raped every day.
No one should lie, the killings continue to happen in rural areas like Mbatyula, Mbayongo, and Yooyo, in the Kastina-Ala LGA.
Seven people were killed in Mbatyula council ward on Tuesday, while Emmanuel Apever’s wife was abducted to an unknown destination. Three people were killed in Tse Ate, two in Saawua compound and three in Tse Asaa in Mbagbeentya community of Mbatyula council ward,” a resident states.
Tertsea Benga, Information Officer for Kastina-Ala Council, confirmed the development, saying some armed invaders were harming the villagers despite the success security forces have had thus far in the area.
Sunday Oteyi, the secretary of Agatu LGA, said two persons who went fishing in Aila, a rural community in Agatu, were hacked to death by unidentified persons.
The police have recovered the bodies of the deceased in the area and deposited them in a hospital morgue, he said.
There was however renewed disagreement on Tuesday between the Aila and Abugbe communities of Agatu, according to our correspondent.
In a telephone interview with our correspondent, the Chairman of Agatu Local Government Area, Sule Adoyi, dismissed any fresh hostility among the people, stating instead that, “we are on top of things.”
When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) for Benue Command, DSP Catherine Anene, said she would inquire if such reports existed from police in the affected areas.
Anene had not done so at the time of filing this report.