Ohanaeze Ndigbo, an Igbo socio-cultural group, has condemned the recent church killing of two Catholic priests and 17 other worshippers by armed herdsmen in Benue state, describing such action as despicable.
The killing occurred at St. Ignatius Catholic Church Ukpor-Mbalom Parish, Gwer East Local government Area of the state.
Chief Nnia Nwodo, president general of Ohanaeze, who spoke at the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of the organisation in Enugu, Tuesday, said it was unthinkable that people could desecrate the hallowed or sacred place of worship and kill innocent worshippers without anybody or those in authority raising any eyebrow.
“The reports we are getting about the killing of two Catholic priests in Benue are worrisome and reprehensible. It should be condemned in all ramifications. “It is despicable, condemnable and unacceptable. We have said it before and we are saying it again that Nigerians must be on guard. These killings should not be allowed to continue,” Nwodo said.
Tuesday’s attack in the church came barely four days after the murder of 10 persons by herdsmen in the neighbouring Guma Local Government Area and the destruction of about 300 houses by men suspected to be military personnel in Naka, Gwer West Local Government Area of the state.
It was learned that several persons sustained bullet wounds while the invaders also sacked part of the village, razing close to 60 houses, farmlands, economic trees as well as yam barns of their victims.
The Director of Communications, Catholic Diocese of Makurdi, Father. Moses Iorapuu said after the attack:“The police seem to know nothing of the attacks which have been going on in other villages within Benue State since the Anti -Open Grazing Law came into effect last year.
“Many people are asking why the international community has remained silent over the massacre of Benue citizens."