Enugu Communities raise alarm over Fulani Herdsmen

Call On Ugwuanyi, Security Heads to rescue them

By Alphonsus Nweze

The people of Itchi, Unadu, Alor- Agu communities in Igbo Eze South Local Government Area and that of Aguibeje and Iyionu in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area, both of Enugu State have sent Save Our Soul (SOS) message to Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the heads of security outfits in the State to save them from the menace of Fulani Herdsmen.

Reports from the communities said that Fulani Herdsmen have not only taken over their forests which serve as their farm lands but also have continued to attack them at their residential houses.

A source from Unadu said the Vice-Chairman of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Mr. Joseph Ossai, almost lost one of his eyes following house to house attack on the villagers by the Herdsmen.

“The Fulani Herdsman were going from house to house robbing people. The Vice-Chairman of Our Parish Council was almost killed in his house alongside with his family members recently. He is still recuperating in the hospital. They matcheted his face. He nearly lost his eyes. There were other victims.”

Rev. Father Fidelis Ajibo, the Parish Priest of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Itchi, lamented that the communities mentioned have been under consistent attack by Herdsmen for a long time now.

He said they always attacked the people in the community and ran back to Akpanya, a neighbouring Kogi State community, where they have their camp.

Rev. Father Asogwa lamented that the activities of ESN people were even more disturbing as they move with bikes all the way from Aguibeje in Igbo-Eze North through Alor-Agu, Unadu to Akpanya market where they rob people of their wares and foodstuffs and run back to Iyionu forests in Igbo-North.

Mr. Harrison Ogara, a journalist and Labour Party candidate for Igbo-Eze South, Enugu State Constituency who hails from Unadu, said most of the forests of the community have been taken over by Herdsmen.

He said when the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Barnabas Agbaji, buried his wife, about 500 Policemen were brought into the town to provide security at the event for fear of attack of Herdsmen and ESN.

He said both the Local Government Chairmen of Igbo-Eze North and South are aware of their plight but they seemed helpless.

Governor Ugwuanyi, he said, is also aware having being intimated about the ugly development on various ocassion but seemed to be indifferent about the plight of these communities.

When contacted, the traditional ruler of Itchi community, His Royal Highness,Igwe Laz. Ugwoke, confirmed the incident, saying that they are now living in fear for no person knows when these Herdsmen would strike.

He called on the Governor who is the Chief Security Officer of the State to direct the heads of security outfits in the State to extend their operations to the communities.

Igwe Ugwoke however, said that his community is planning on how they would provide their own security to ward off these Herdsmen.

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