Aftermath of attack that claimed more than 500 lives in Agatu, in February 2016. (Photo: World Watch Monitor)

At least seven people were killed after suspected Fulani herdsmen attacked another church in Benue State yesterday (26 April).

The attack came two days ago after the massacre of 19 worshippers, including two priests, at a Catholic church in Gwer West Local Government Area.

In the early hours of yesterday morning the herdsmen stormed the Mbamondo community in Logo Local Government Area, opening fire on displaced people who had taken refuge at a local church, according to the Nigerian Daily Post magazine.

The assailants also reportedly set fire to many houses.

A resident of the community, who gave his name as Umishi, told the Daily Post that some of the victims had been identified as: Festus Terdue Aguda, Mama Doom Uhule Oragbai, Shiaondo Tamen Tordue,TamenIorbume Shima, and Mr. Suur.
Attacks attributed to Fulani herdsmen have become recurrent in Benue in recent months. Since the introduction in November 2017 of a controversial law banning open grazing by herders in the state, attacks have been carried out on an almost daily basis.

In January, 80 people were killed and 80,000 forced to flee in a spate of violence in the state. The funerals on 11 January for 73 victims in Makurdi, Benue’s capital, were broadcast live. Among those killed were seven members of the Benue State Livestock Guards – a special paramilitary unit set up by the state governor to ensure the full implementation of the grazing law.

One of the deadliest attacks to have taken place in Nigeria in recent years took place in Benue on 21 February 2016, when over 500 villagers were massacred and over 7,000 displaced from 10 villages.

On Wednesday (25 April), Nigeria’s House of Representatives summoned Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, over the recent killings.

The assembly also passed a vote of no confidence in the country’s service chiefs for the armed forces and all the security advisers to the president. The lawmakers in the lower legislative chambers suspended sitting for three days in solidarity with Nigerians over the killings.