Enugu: Outrage Over Unbridled Herdsmen Killings

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi weeps as he visits scene of harassmen killing

Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi weeps as he visits scene of harassmen killing

The massacre of residents of Enugu community by Fulani herdsmen has drawn widespread condemnation across the country.

The anger greeted the killings in a Monday night attack on an Enugu community where no fewer than 48 people were killed and many others injured has continued.

The South East Revival Group (SERG) has console families who lost their lives in recent herdsmen attach at Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, urging the federal government to wake up to its responsibility of providing adequate security to Nigerians and ensure perpetrators were punished.

The group also condoled with the state Governor, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who wept openly over the killing of over 40 persons in the state.

A statement signed by its national coordinator, Chief Willy Ezugwu described the governor as “a man of the people who was moved to tears by the level of devastation caused by the rampaging herdsmen to his people.”

The House of Representatives has summoned the Director General of the Directorate of State Services (DSS) to appear before it over the herdsmen activities.

Speaker of the Anambra State House of Assembly Rita Maduagwu wept during a session on the herdsmen’s killings yesterday.

Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu urged President Muhammadu Buhari to take action.

Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh said unless a drastic action is taken, the activities of the herdsmen could destroy the nation.

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The Igbo Assembly in the North called for a check of the violence. The Movement for the Actualization of Biafra (MASSOB) issued an ultimatum to the Federal Government.

The Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Sulu Gambari, told visiting Vice President Yemi Osinbajo that a halt must be put to the activities of the herdsmen.

The Archbishop of Anglican Communion (Enugu Archdiocese) Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, warned that if nothing was done to check the Fulani herdsmen, he would personally ask the pro-Biafra groups to declare  a war against them.

The fiery cleric, who was visibly angry over Monday’s attack on an Enugu community, said it was now clear that the Federal Government controlled security agencies deliberately engaged in selective negligence.

He called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in Igboland.

The Archbishop was surprised that many hours after the attack, no arrest had been made.

The cleric insisted that Fulani herdsmen were more violent than the pro-Biafra agitators and called on Southeast governors to rise up to the security challenge.

“I feel bitter, I feel aggrieved. I feel sad that the APC government at the centre cannot protect us. We call on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in Igbo land over the Fulani herdsmen’s threat to security in the zone or else we will declare war against the Fulani herdsmen.

“I feel sad that APC government at the centre cannot protect us. Failure to curb the activities of Fulani herdsmen will make us to ban the Fulani herdsmen from rearing their cattle in the zone. Any attempt to harass any Igbo youth, any community will not be taken lightly.

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“We will not tolerate it in Igbo land. We are declaring war against the Fulani herdsmen. We are calling on Northern elders to caution their people.

“With the failure of the Southeast governors to rise to the security challenge, we will pass a vote of no confidence in them. Where did the Fulani herdsmen get the AK 47 rifles? We will bring our own Ogbunigwe out to defend our rights. We will match force with force.

“Fulani herdsmen come to Igbo land, ravage our farm land, rape our women. That we were defeated in the last civil war does not mean we will remain slaves forever even in our land. We will defend our land with our blood and anything, including Ogbunigwe.

“Why was there security lapse? The DSS and other security operatives alerted the government yet they went ahead with their threat by unleashing mayhem on the villagers. The Fulani herdsmen are more violent than the Biafra agitator”, he said.

The Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) said it will now apply force in the defence of “our people from these sacred cow Fulani herdsmen”.

The pro-Biafran group put the number of the dead at 130 and accused the police of playing down the number.

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A statement signed by the MASSOB Director of Information Samuel Edeson said Monday’s attack was an ethnic cleansing planned years back in 2003.

The MASSOB statement said: “We condemn the attack on by Fulani herdsmen at Uzo-uwani L.G.A Enugu State. We wish to remind Ndigbo that this killing and destruction of property of our people by Fulani herdsmen is getting out of hands. The fact that MASSOB believes in non- violence does not mean that we cannot defend ourselves. There is a limit to human endurance.”

MASSOB’s National Director of Information Sunny Okereafor  said the organisation has given a  30-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to stop the attacks by herdsmen or face its consequences.

He said: “MASSOB is worried that Fulani herdsmen have become very daring in their attacks since President Buhari came to power.

“We are not saying Buhari is their sponsor, but his silence over the attacks is suspect. MASSOB is giving the government 30 days to stop the attacks or face our wrath”, they said.

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