Msurshima Iorshie, a 2-year-old girl, is fighting for her life at the Benue State University Teaching Hospital, BSUTH, after being shot in the vagina by Fulani herdsmen who stormed Tiortyu community in the state’s Tarka Local Government Area.
The attack, which took place on Monday, April 11, claimed the lives of 15 people, including women and children, while others were injured by machete cuts and bullet wounds.
Mrs. Faith Iorshie, the child’s 25-year-old mother, told Vanguard that her daughter was in the custody of her grandfather when the armed herders raided the town.
“I left Msurshima in the care of her grandfather, my husband’s father, and went to work on a farm with my husband in a nearby community, where we spent only a few days.”
“At the farm we were alerted that night that armed herdsmen were moving towards our community. We ran back only to discover that they had already attacked our village. They were said to be chasing and shooting at anybody they saw,”
“My grandfather had made attempt to escape with my daughter and others but he was shot dead. My daughter that he tried to escape with was also shot her on her vagina.
“After the armed herders retreated, one of my brothers who went in search of our family members saw her where she laid motionless looking as if she was dead but it was discovered that she was still breathing. But at that time our grandfather was already dead.
“We hurriedly carried her to a hospital in Wannune, the Local Government Headquarter for treatment. They revived her and we were immediately transferred to the Teaching Hospital on the orders of the state government for better treatment.”
The devastated mother who could not hold back tears said “we have never had anything to do with Fulani herders. They came from Guma area where they have been attacking and killing people. They came shooting our people and chasing us away from our ancestral homes.
“I do not know the sin my innocent daughter committed that they shot her like an animal. We thank God that she is still alive but we do not know what becomes of her given where she was shot. I’m begging people to come and help me because I do not know what to do with her condition.”
Meanwhile one of the health personnel at the paediatric ward who spoke on condition of anonymity told Vanguard that the two year old girl was responding to treatment but noted that the little girl would require correctional surgery on her vagina.
“It is a miracle that the little girl is still alive, but we must commend Governor Samuel Ortom for ordering immediate evacuation of all the injured to the BSUTH where they are receiving expert attention which has contributed to the survival of the seriously injured victims,” he said.