By Newsroom NG
As 2017 ended, Nigerians looked forward to the new year with renewed hope and gusto.
Unfortunately, not everyone who witnessed the last day of 2017 witnessed the first hour of 2018. Unforeseen catastrophes visited some parts of the country as families, social institutions, religious institutions and even the nation at large was thrown into early mourning.
2018 was to come like a happy rocket, but what came instead were unexpected occurrences that took everyone’s attention like fireworks. It was no doubt a sight to behold for parts of the country that were visited with unexpected occurrences.
Kwara State’s Mayhem
Religious crisis brew in Kwara state as the Christian Association of Nigeria, the state chapter, accused Muslims of attacking churches during their crossover services. An Ilorin-based pastor Ibitoye Reuben Idowu, alleged that the Muslims stormed some churches in the state capital New Year’s Day, raping women and destroying church’s properties.
Prof. Timothy Opoola, the state’s CAN Chairman, also said some female Christians who were returning home after the New Years’ service were raped. Reports, however, have it that some youths attacked the affected worship centres after they were prevented from organising a carnival for the year.
Omiku killings in Rivers State
Again on New Year’s Day, no less than 15 persons reportedly lost their lives in Omoku, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State by a group of gunmen. It was reported that the victims were killed on their return from the crossover service by the armed men.
The gunmen who are yet to be identified reportedly carried out the attacks at Kirigani and Oboh areas of Aligwu community in Omoku.
The younger brother of an ex-Nigeria Delta militant Leader, Johnson Igwedibia was popularly known as DonWanny, was alleged to have led the attack.
However, the incident which happened on January 1, seems to have been made a continuum, as 11 people were reportedly killed in the community again.
They were again feared murdered as of Thursday, January 4, in Rivers State after the New Year day massacre in Omoku, Ogba Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area, ONELGA, reportedly spread to neighbouring communities.
In one incident near Ahaoda, four suspected masterminds of the Omoku incident were reportedly gunned down and one apprehended by men of the ONELGA Security, Peace and Advisory Committee, OSPAC, the local vigilante, in a gun battle.
In a separate incident at Egbeda, Emohua Local Government Area, hooded gunmen, said to have surfaced on motorbikes, left seven persons, including a woman and one lawyer, dead and several others injured before disappearing.
In an attack which spilled over to the second day of the year, at least, 50 persons were reportedly killed by Fulani Herdsmen after they invaded parts of Guma and Logo Local Government Areas of Benue State on New Year’s Day.
The attacks which threw a lot of families into a sudden mourning was said to have been carried out on the heels of the implementation of the anti-open grazing law, which the Fulani herdsmen considered detrimental to their means of livelihood.
The affected communities are Gaambe-Tiev, Ayilamo, and Turan all in Logo LGA as well as Umenger, Tse-Akor, and Tomatar near Tse-Abi in Nongov District of Guma LGA.
The invading herdsmen were said to have attacked Gaambe-Tiev, Ayilamo, and Turan villages in Logo LGA on New Year’s Day at the time the people were returning from the New Years’ service.
The assailants reportedly descended on the communities on Monday, January 1, around 9:00pm and continued the attack till around 4:00am on Tuesday, shooting indiscriminately and burning down houses and huts.
This post was first published on Newsroom.ng.
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