Again, herdsmen attack Enugu community, kill one, injure many
• Ugwuanyi, Ekweremadu, bishop decry incident
• HURIWA calls for local armed vigilantes
In an early morning attack, reminiscent of the April 25 invasion of Nimbo community, Uzouwani Council recently, suspected Fulani herdsmen again yesterday descended on Ndiagu Attakwu community in Nkanu West Council, killing a seminarian and leaving several others injured.
The attackers, whose number could not be ascertained were said to have invaded the community around 2:00a.m. yesterday and went straight to the family of Ogbodo Nwarum where they killed Lazarus Nwafor, a seminarian.
Nwafor, who was from Imo State was on apostolic assignment at the Catholic Church in the community.
Ogbodo, who is the head of the family, his pregnant wife, another woman in the family as well as one of their daughters were said to have been severely injured and rushed to the emergency unit of the Enugu State University Teaching Hospital, where they were being treated as at press time.
At Ogbodo Nwarum’s house yesterday, it was disclosed that the herdsmen climbed a chair to enter the ceiling of the building through which they accessed the room of the seminarian and other members of the family
A source revealed that two of the herdsmen allegedly allowed their cows to stray into the family’s compound. Ogbodo’s pregnant wife, who was said to be at home at the time attempted to chase the cows out of the compound.
When she could not, she was said to have banged a metal gong that scared the cows away. This annoyed the herdsmen who promised to return to the house.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, has condemned the attack.
Ekweremadu in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, said the incessant attacks on parts of the country by suspected herdsmen posed a grave threat to the peace, security, and economy of the country.
He called on the Federal Government to take decisive steps to stop the incidents and ensure that the perpetrators of this act of wickedness in Enugu do not go unpunished
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who visited the community yesterday with the state commissioner of police and the state director of the Department of State Services (DSS), decried the incident, pledging that government would probe the cause of the matter and ensure the protection of lives and property.
Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, Callistus Onaga, while condemning the incident said: “We anticipated this thing, we complained about it and we know that this is not the way to live together.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Emmanuel Ojukwu, in a statement yesterday after visiting the hospital where those injured were being treated urged members of the Ndiagu Attakwu community to be calm just as he sympathised with the family of the victims and the entire community over the incident.
To check the incessant attacks by herdsmen, a Non-Governmental Organisation – Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA) has advocated the creation of armed vigilantes similar to the Civilian-JTF in the South East of Nigeria and such other places experiencing armed Fulani herdsmen attacks.
HURIWA also condemned the South East governors and political leaders for failing to collectively protest the incessant killings by armed Fulani herdsmen and the inactions of both the military and the Directorate of State Security Services.
The group advised the South East leaders to initiate both local and international actions to call attention to these killings. They also urged all Igbo politicians and other stakeholders to force the Federal Government and the United Nations to intervene.
In a statement by the National Coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, HURIWA condemned the Enugu State government for not taking adequate measures to protect the people from frequent attacks by herdsmen.