The Benue State Security Council has declared May 22 work- free day to honour the two Catholic priests and 17 worshipers killed in Mbalom, Gwer East Local Government Area.
Governor Samuel Ortom spoke yesterday when he paid a condolence visit to the Catholic Bishop of Makurdi Diocese, Rev. Wilfred Anagbe.
Ortom, who described the incident as unfortunate, prayed that God would visit the church and the people to wipe their tears.
The governor, who acknowledged the church’s support to the bereaved families through the provision of food, health and educational services, reiterated his call for the arrest and prosecution of the leadership of Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore, for its threats and attacks on Benue communities.
Bishop Anagbe thanked Ortom and the Security Council for the visit, saying the tragedy could have been averted if relevant authorities had taken raised concerns and alerts seriously.
The deceased will buried at a Catholic Pilgrimage centre on Makurdi/Otukpo road.
Already, work has begun on the site as members of the Catholic Youth Organisation (CYO) were seen digging graves when The Nation visited.
The road to the burial site has been cleared and a transformer mounted.
A member of CYO, James Nongu, said they are working for free in memory of the deceased.