Additionally, the diocese plans to evacuate IDPs from Agagbe camp where they are surrounded by danger to Naka camp, which is safer, Ihyula said.
Meanwhile, the JPC official of Makurdi Diocese foresees a rise in attacks in Benue State after the Feb. 25 elections that declared 70-year-old Bola Ahmed Tinubu winner of Nigeria’s highly disputed presidential poll.
“The Fulani attacks have been ongoing for years now. In fact, a day hardly passes by without receiving reports of attacks in one village or the other. But with their [Islamist attackers] people entrenched deep in power, all we see in the future are more attacks,” Ihyula said.
“More villages will be displaced,” he said, adding that the Catholic Church in Makurdi will, however, “keep telling the story” to the whole world of the persecution of farming and Christian communities in Nigeria.
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A report that Denis Hurley Peace Institute (DHPI) shared with ACI Africa on March 3 indicates that barely a day after the elections attackers invaded Tse Alaa in Udaaya community in Guma LGA of Benue State around 9 p.m. and opened fire, killing about eight people before moving to the neighboring village of Tse Magum. There, continued attacks resulted in several deaths, though the exact number has not been confirmed yet.
DHPI reports that armed Fulanis have been attacking various villages of Turan specifically, Moon, Mkômon, Mbadura, and Yaav district all in Kwande LGA.
Jato Aka in the area is now filled with fleeing villagers, according to DHPI, the peace entity of the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), which is researching the armed conflict in Nigeria’s Benue State says.
DHPI, which has described the violence perpetrated by armed Fulanis as “a gathering storm,” links the attacks to the outcome of the presidential election.
“The [herdsmen] have never hidden their preference for the All Progressives Congress, which they believe will protect them if it wins elections in Benue State. The election results have motivated the killers who have become more daring,” DHPI says in the March 3 report.
This story was first published by ACI Africa, CNA’s African news partner. It has been adapted by CNA.
Agnes Aineah is a Kenyan journalist with a background in digital and newspaper reporting. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Linguistics, Media and Communications from Kenya's Moi University. Agnes currently serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.