The two Catholic priests Rev. Joseph Gor, Rev. Felix Tyolaha and 17 parishioners slain by suspected herdsmen at Ukpor, Mbalom community in the Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State are scheduled for burial today, May 22, 2018.
This is even as the State Governor Samuel Ortom has declared Tuesday a work-free day to honour the departed.
The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria had also directed all Catholic faithful across the country to embark on a peaceful and prayerful protest, tagged, ‘March for Life,’ on Tuesday.
Suspected armed herdsmen had invaded Mbalon community and attacked St. Ignatius Catholic Church at Ayar Mbalom in Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State about a month ago and killed two priests – Rev Fathers Joseph Gor and Felix Tyolaha — and other 17 worshipers during early morning mass.
Also among the victims were two school head teachers and a secondary school principal, identified as Peter Dick, Ape Chia and Michael Tor, respectively.
It was gathered that the Catholic faithful had gone for morning mass around 5.30am and unknown to them, the militia herdsmen had laid ambush in the community.
The armed men later surrounded the church and killed all the early callers in the church.
Meanwhile, the 19 victims of the attack are to be given a mass burial today at the Ayati pilgrim site near Ikpayongo in Gwer East Local Government Area of the state.