Gunmen kill church leader, others in Nasarawa

Gunmen, suspected to be herdsmen, on Monday attacked Abebe community in Keana Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, killing a Catholic Church leader, Mr. Augustine Avertse, and three others.

The gunmen, who were said to have been armed with sophisticated weapons, attacked the community at about 10pm and shot sporadically, forcing residents to run for safety.

Augustine Avertse, the leader of St. Augustine’s Catholic Church, Abebe and his father, Avertse Akaa’am, were reportedly shot dead at close range while trying to escape into a nearby bush.

Also killed were Uwongul John Akodi and a man simply identified as Monday, who was said to be a visitor to the community.

However, Messrs. Vitalis Adam and Friday Gboko escaped with gunshot injuries and are receiving treatment at the General Hospital, Obi.

Adam, who spoke with our correspondent on his hospital bed, said that the attack was unprovoked, as there had never been any form of misunderstanding between members of the community and the suspected herdsmen living around the area.

Another survivor, who narrowly escaped death, said that the gunmen might have been on a mission to rob a member of the community of the over N200,000.00 realised from the sale of farm produce.

The President of Tiv Youth Organisation in Nasarawa State, Comrade Peter Ahemba, confirmed the incident to reporters in Lafia, alleging that the unprovoked attack was a calculated attempt by enemies of peace to cause another crisis in the state.

Police spokesman Ramhan Nansel said that the command was yet to be briefed on the incident. (The Nation)

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