A conflict between Muslim cattle herders and Christian farmers in Nigeria's Benue state has left 83 people dead over the course of one week, a government spokesman told Reuters.
Muslim herdsmen who mainly belong to the Fulani ethnic group often clash with Christian farmers over land in the remote middle belt region.
Terve Akase, chief press secretary to the governor of Benue state, said the killings occurred between Dec. 31, 2017 and Jan. 6, 2018.
"The attacks happened in very remote villages," Akase told Reuters. "Now, with security operatives on the ground, villagers have been going about the bush to pick up more corpses."
Ayo Adebanjo, chieftain of the Yoruba socio-political organization Afenifere, also slammed Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for his "inaction" on the issue.
"The Fulani herdsmen are causing confusion in some parts of the country; Southern Kaduna, Benue, Adamawa, etc. What has he done? Is it not a shame that the president of a country who was a military man before is in a situation where there is a breakdown of law and order in some parts of the country? Buhari should be ashamed of himself as president of this country. He should be ashamed of himself," Adebanjo told the Daily Post Nigeria.
Earlier in November, nearly 30 people were killed from a cattle herding community in a similar clash in the northeastern state of Adamawa.
Out of 36 states, armed military troops have been deployed in 30 states to address insecurity.