President Muhammadu Buhari has condemned the killing of worshippers and priests at a church in Ukpor-Mbalom community in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue and vowed to apprehend those behind the ungodly act.
The President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina in Abuja on Tuesday, described the killings as “vile and satanic’’.
Buhari condoled with the government and people of Benue, Mbalom community, the Bishop, priests and members of the St Ignatius’ Catholic Church in the state.
“I extend my sincere condolences to the government and people of Benue State, the Mbalom community, and especially the Bishop, priests and members of the St Ignatius’ Catholic Church, whose premises was the unfortunate venue of the heinous killings by gunmen.
“This latest assault on innocent persons is particularly despicable. Violating a place of worship, killing priests and worshippers is not only vile, evil and satanic, it is clearly calculated to stoke up religious conflict and plunge our communities into endless bloodletting.’’
Buhari maintained that the country would not bow to the machinations of evildoers, and vowed that the assailants would be hunted down and made to pay for the sacrilege committed.
The Police in Benue had earlier confirmed the killing of 16 people, including two Catholic priests, in fresh attacks on Mbalon community in Gwer Local Government Area in the early hours of Tuesday.
The Police Commissioner Owoseni Fatai, said that unknown gunmen, suspected to be herdsmen, opened fire on Catholic worshipers during morning Mass on Tuesday.