Agatu massacres

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Agatu massacre
Part of Herder–farmer conflicts in Nigeria
Nigeria Benue State map.png
Location of Benue State in Nigeria
LocationAgatu, Benue State, Nigeria
DateFebruary - March 2016[1][2]
Attack type
VictimsSeveral thousand (at least 7000 displaced)
Suspected perpetrators
Fulani gunmen & militia

The Agatu attacks and massacres occurred in Agatu, Benue State,[3][4][5] began in late February 2016 and continued for several days into March.


Agatu is in the State of Benue close to Nigeria's centre, where several different ethnic groups meet.

Possible motives and causes[edit]

It is believed that the attack was committed in retaliation for the killing of the Fulanis' cows.[6]

Former Senate President Mark also pointed out that the Benue South senatorial district were his constituents and hinted at a possible political motivation for these attacks.


According to the Nigerian politician Senator David Mark, over 500 have been killed.[7][8] However, this number has been disputed. The Inspector General of Police (IGP) said as reported by Punch Nigeria newspaper that ”I was around, I travelled to Benue State, I did not see where 300 people were buried.”[9][10]

Afterwards, several small scale attacks continued through Benue state and central Nigeria.[11]

Senator Mark later claimed he was fortunate to escape an ambush by suspected assailants, on a condolence visit to the area.[12]

President Buhari and members of the Nigerian security apparatus were criticised for their handling of the situation.[13][14][15]

See also[edit]

Nimbo massacre


  1. ^ "Agatu Massacre – It's Time to Do the Right Thing [opinion]". Jul 15 / 2016.
  2. ^ a b 300 confirmed dead as Fulani herdsmen attack communities,
  3. ^ Agatu Massacre: Villagers Take Up Arms After Fulani Terrorist Herdsmen Attack. IPN News; 25th May 2016.
  4. ^ Ten villages under siege by Fulani herders. Christian Solidarity Worldwide, 7 Apr 2016.
  5. ^ Agatu: Beyond human comprehension, as more attacks likely without government’s quick actions. On March 14, 2016, 8:04 pm. Vanguard Nigeria.
  6. ^ EXCLUSIVE: Why we struck in Agatu — Fulani herdsmen. Premium Times, March 19, 2016; by Emmanuel Mayah, Sani Tukur and Hassan Adebayo.
  7. ^ Over 500 killed in Agatu “genocide” — Ex-Senate President David Mark. March 12, 2016
  8. ^ Over 500 killed in Agatu ‘genocide’ – David Mark, The Eagle Online.
  9. ^ Agatu killings: Death toll blown out of proportion – Arase. Published March 12, 2016.
  10. ^ Agatu killings: IGP condemns exaggerated figures; Archived 2017-02-11 at the Wayback Machine. New Telegraph. Posted on Mar 11 2016 - 1:55pm by Dan Atori. Archive, from the original on 11 feb 2017.
  11. ^ Nigeria: Hundreds killed and churches burned in latest Fulani massacre; Ruth Gledhill, Christian Today. 08 April 2016.
  12. ^ #AGATUMASSACRE | David Mark, Others Narrowly Escape Fulani Attack in Agatu. Reports Afrique on March 12, 2016 at 12:40 pm.
  13. ^ Agatu killings and Buhari’s moral weakness, Punch Nigeria; March 24. 2016
  14. ^ Agatu killings: Benue lawmakers blast Buhari, Dambazu. By Ameh Comrade Godwin on March 18, 2016; Punch Nigeria (
  15. ^ Agatu Massacre: Victims accuse Buhari’s govt of insensitivity

External links[edit]

Tragedy struck again 4th March, 2018 in Omusu village,Ojigo ward in Edumoga, Okpokwu local government area of Benue state as suspected herdsmen unleash terror of their victims leaving 26people; including and children, dead just a day after president Muhammad Buhari promise to visit the state.[1]

  1. ^ 26 killed as herdsmen sack Benue village in fresh attack. Vanguard, March 07, 2018; by Peter Duru.