Home NewsSecurityCrime Shangev-Tiev People Laments, Peacekeeping Turned Into Military Invasion Says Over 45 Persons Murdered, Properties In Over 7 Villages/Towns Destroyed, Foodstuff Burnt: Nigeria Army Say 1 Officer, 10 Soldier Killed In Konshisha Benue State

Shangev-Tiev People Laments, Peacekeeping Turned Into Military Invasion Says Over 45 Persons Murdered, Properties In Over 7 Villages/Towns Destroyed, Foodstuff Burnt: Nigeria Army Say 1 Officer, 10 Soldier Killed In Konshisha Benue State

by Anita Ogona

The Nigerian Army says one officer and 10 soldiers have been  killed in an attack on troops operating on a routine operational task in Benue State. The Defence Spokesman Mohammed Yeeima, in a statement on Thursday said.

PRESS RELEASE UNPROVOKED ATTACK ON TROOPS ON STABILISATION OPERATIONS IN BENUE STATE Nigerian Army (NA) troops operating in Benue State came under attack while on routine operational task. The troops comprising one officer and ten soldiers were initially declared missing which prompted the deployment of a joint search and rescue team comprising NA troops and personnel of Operation Whirl Stroke. The search and rescue team unfortunately found all the missing troops dead in Konshisha LGA of Benue State. While the bodies of the slain troops were evacuated immediately, efforts are ongoing to track down the perpetrators of this heinous crime with a view to bringing them to Justice. The NA under the leadership of the COAS Lt Gen Ibrahim Attahiru remains resolute in ensuring stability in Benue State as well as other parts of the country that are affected by the activities of criminal gangs. The NA remains determined to ensure that this unprovoked attack does not disrupt the general peace being enjoyed by the local inhabitants. The COAS has therefore directed commanders on the ground to ensure sustained efforts in order to fish out and deal decisively with these bad elements who are threatening the peace in the area. It may be recalled that Benue State which was a hot bed for violent clashes has been enjoying relative peace following the successes achieved by the various security agencies who have been working tirelessly to safeguard law abiding citizens and ensure they go about their legitimate business without fear of harassment by criminals. The NA appeal to the public to volunteer useful information that will lead to the arrest of the perpetrators of this dastardly act. You are kindly requested to disseminate this information to the general public through your medium. Thank you for your usual cooperation.

Mohammed Yerima Brigadier General, Director Army Public Relations 8 April 2021Benue Communal Crisis: 12 Killed, Arms Recovered As Military Raid Criminal Hideouts

However the people of Konshisha LGA of Benue State  gave their own account as thus-

BANDITS ATTACKED THE NIGERIAN MILITARY; KONSHISHA PEOPLE WERE FRAMED. Nigerian Soldiers were provoked by an attack on their convoy by armed bandits in the area, and since then have unleashed terror on the residents of the community. “The attention of the public has been drawn to the wanton destruction of lives and properties in no fewer than seven communities of Shangev-Tiev in Konshisha LGA of Benue State. “We are reliably informed that in the last 3 days, men of the Nigeria military under the ‘Operation Whirl Stroke’ have launched series of attacks on the unarmed civilian population in over 7 communities in Shangev-Tiev, killing over 70 people and displacing residents including children, women and the elderly. “The mayhem which was reportedly provoked by an attack on a military convoy by armed bandits who terrorize the area, has since witnessed a misplaced reprisal attack by soldiers with heavy gunfire on unarmed civilians around the area, using both aerial and ground troops to cause colossal destruction. “Although the bandits reportedly fled immediately after attacking the military convoy, the surrounding communities who needed help from the Nigeria military to get rid of the bandits, are the ones now paying with their lives and properties, to the extent of becoming displaced persons in their own state,”

A Native Of The Community -Titus Terese Toho In his Article wrote- SHANGEV-TIEV : A REPLICA OF ZAKI-BIAM MASSACRE OF 2001. WHY ALWAYS THE TIV PEOPLE OF CENTRAL NIGERIA? Brief Background
The Tiv people of Central Nigeria are the most marginalize ethnic group in Nigeria despite her being the 4th largest ethnic group. Mainly farmers, the Tiv are known for their hospitality. Very accommodative and well disciplined, the Tiv only give counter-attack when they are attacked. Over 70% of food consume in Nigeria comes from Benue where Tiv are custodian of agricultural activities. It is worthy of note that the Tiv suffered and are suffering severe attacks from outside people from time immemorial till date. This includes the Fulani herdsmen menace, the Zaki-Biam massacre of 2001 and now the military invasion to Shangev-Tiev people in Konshisha Local Government of Benue State.
Shangev-Tiev and Gaav are the occupants of Konshisha Local Government. In Political zoning, Konshisha and Vandeikya are what is known as Jechira. Shangev-Tiev who produced a Governor, Rev Fr Moses Adasu of blessed memory, the current Bishop of Gboko Diocese, Most Rev William A. Avenya, Tyoor Unaha Koko (one among king makers in Tiv), the popular Matthias Byuan among others is clan in Tiv who are mainly farmers. Shangev-Tiev share boundary with Igede people in Uju Local Government of Benue State. As a result, there is a communal crisis between the two ethic groups which started long ago.
Recently, the crisis started again and military was deployed to calm the situation. According to Sahara Reporters, the military patrol was attacked by militia suspected to be of Tiv decent where millions of Naira, 2000 rounds of ammunition, 3 soldiers and a machine gun got missing. Why the military took millions of Naira to a bush amused me. Why they took 2000 ammunition is another difficult thing to understand. Because of this, the military are now killing and burning everything they see including the palace of Tyoor Unaha Koko.
The military under the pretext of searching for their lost are killing people, burning house and destroying yam bans. The purported attack on the military occurred at Bonta which is over 100 kilometers from Gungul, Tse-Anyon, Mbaakpur and others places the military is attacking with helicopters. Who gave the order is not known.
With the above, I recall the Zaki-Biam massacre of 2001. Recall that in October, 2001, the Nigerian Army on what they coined “Operation No Living Thing” stormed Zaki-Biam, Vaase, Andôôr, Anyiin, Gbeji and other communities in Sankara axis of Benue State; killed many people and destroyed properties worth millions of Naira. This was a time the Tiv were having crisis with the Jukun people. The military did that evil mission under the pretext that 19 of their colleagues were ambushed and killed by people they believed to be Tiv militia.
During the Tiv-Jukun crisis, the Tiv always complained about the disguise of Jukun in military uniform and attacking them. No one paid attention to that. Gen Malu of blessed memory noted that Gen. Danjuma, a Jukun was the one who sponsored the attack. The current situation in Shangev-Tiev now is the same as that of Zaki-Biam as one General of Igede decent is accused of using the military to fight for his people
Where is our faith and trust in the government? Our people are in agony. No one is safe. Gungul which is the only route out of the village is barricaded by the military. Majority of the villagers ran to Tse-Agberagba while some departed to Konshisha river to lay low. Our people are not Boko Haram or Fulani herdsmen. We are not terrorist but farmers struggling for survival. Raining season is here. We want to go back to farm and prepare for this year’s harvest.

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