Two Catholic Priests and 19 Parishioners Murdered During Mass in Benue

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Politics and Policy

The Catholic Diocese of Makurdi has confirmed the killing of two of its priests, Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha, both reverend fathers, in an early hour attack on St Ignatius Quasi Parish, Ukpor, Mbalom in Gwer West Local Government Council of Benue, PREMIUM TIMES reports.

A spokesman Spokesman for the diocese, Fr. Mose Lorapuu confirmed the killing of two Catholic Priests & 19 Parishioners by Peul/Fulani Militia who attacked St. Ignatius Quasi parish in Mbalom Benue province in early hours of today, according to newswirengr.com. Seventy-three houses were reportedly set ablaze.

Benue state has been besieged by attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen since New Year’s day when 73 people were murdered. Attacks have recurred ever since, leading to a visit by President Muhammadu Buhari when he learnt the Inspector-General of Police, Idris Kpotum, had failed to move to the state as had been ordered.

The presidency has released a statement published from Mr Buhari’s handle which extends his “sincere condolences to the Government and people of Benue State, the Mbalom community, and especially the Bishop, priests & members of the St Ignatius’ Catholic Church, whose premises was the unfortunate venue of the heinous killings of worshippers and two priests by gunmen

He further described the killings, which happened during Mass, as “particularly despicable” and are “clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting“. The statement also contained an assurance to “the people of Benue, and all Nigerians, that we will ensure that the assailants are apprehended and brought to justice for this vile and sacrilegious act

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