Unknown gunmen have killed a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Moses Fanem Ngugban and three parishioners in Agu Centre, Mbatyula/Mberev council ward in Katsina-Ala local government area of Benue State.
The incident was said to have occurred around 7:00 am on Tuesday, March 30, when the church was rounding off its morning mass.
Eye witnesses said several houses were set ablaze during the attack said to have been carried out by the gunmen.
One of the residents said the gunmen stormed the village around 7:00 am and demanded to see the parish priest.
“We directed them to go inside but within split seconds we heard gunshots and everyone scampered for safety. By the time we came back, the Rev. Fr. and others were found dead” he said.
The chairman of Katsina-Ala local government, Alfred Atera, who confirmed the incident in a statement, identified those killed alongside the priest as Mfave Tumachihi, Mbangohor Tsebo and Orlukaa Ulu.
“On 30th March 2021 at about 7-8 am unknown gunmen came and burnt a village called Agu Centre in Mbatyula/Mberev Council Ward in Katsina-Ala and killed Rev. Fr. Moses Ngugban and three others by name: Mfave Tumachihi, Mbangohor Tsebo and Orlukaa Ulu.” he said.
Benue Police Command spokesperson, DSP Catherine Anene, confirmed the incident, saying that security operatives are on the trail of the gunmen.
“Rv. Fr. Nguban Fanen and three others lost their lives during the attack. Corpses have been deposited at General Hospital Katsina-Ala while a joint operation of police and other security agencies are on the trail of the hoodlums”