Former Senate President, Senator David Mark, has described as barbaric, wicked and inhuman the massive attacks and destruction of lives and properties in Agatu local government area of Benue State by armed men suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
Mark expressed shock at the unbelievable level of destruction of lives and properties in the area, describing it as genocide perpetrated against the Idoma people.
This is contained in a statement by his media aide, Paul Mumeh, which was made available to reporters in Abuja.
He said: “I am shocked beyond words at the extent of destruction I have seen here in Agatu today. This is unbelievable. It is unimaginable. Nothing whatsoever justifies this brazen act of destruction meted out on the people of Agatu. My heart bleeds.”
The statement said that Mark, who was on an assessment tour of the ravaged communities along with some members of the National and State Assembly from his Benue South constituency, urged security agencies to do all that is needed to bring the perpetrators to book.
It said that Mark was of the view that the attacks could not have happened by accident, but was a planned and orchestrated genocide against the Agatu people.
It said that about 10 communities have been razed down to the rubbles, while no fewer than 500 lives have been lost to the recent hostilities.
Some of the villages visited by Mark and his team have been deserted and virtually turned into ghost towns.
The villages are completely devoid of any social or economic activity, with all the primary and post primary schools, health centres, worship centres, as well as the police station in the area have been burnt down.
Mark advised the people to take advantage of the proposed public hearing by the joint Senate Committee on the crisis to bring the matter to public domain and seek redress.