Benue killings: Journalist raises alarm over threat to life


A journalist with Vanguard Newspaper, Ms Victoria Ojeme has appealed to the authorities to protect her from the “hands of faceless, unscrupulous and callous individuals” who have continued to send threat messages to her over the alarm she raised about the senseless killing of her kinsmen in a bloody communal crisis. 

Ojeme had in February this year raised an alarm over the crisis in her community following the bloody clashes between the people of Mbarvu and Mbasombo communities in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue state claimed the lives of many including those of her loved ones.

According to her, among those killed in one of the attacks was her Aunt, the only surviving woman in her father's house. 

She had called for an end to the senseless crisis which had led to the sacking of communities and displacement of the people from their ancestral homes over disputed farmlands. 

She said some faceless persons have not been comfortable with her outburst and outcry and have been sending threat massages to her. 

Ojeme, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday, said she had already reported the matter to the police, after an unknown person sent her a message in her place of residence in Abuja, that she should know that they were aware of where she lives and that they were coming for her soon. 

She lamented that: "I no longer feel safe living in my home in Abuja and even in the country; some criminal elements have on few occasions sent verbal messages through people I did not know, that I am being watched." 

She called on the authorities to investigate the ongoing killings in her hometown, adding that from there, they might trace the people threatening her life. 

She said the threats to her life heightened immediately after the story of the atrocities in her hometown of Benue was published. 

She said that she only raised the alarm in order to have the relevant authorities sit up to their responsibilities to end the carnage going on in her community and also have the displaced persons return to the ancestral homes. 

Ojeme added that: “But what I get in return are threats to my life for daring to speak out which has left me vulnerable to attack by unknown persons who drop threat massages for me even in front of my residence."

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