Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to put an end to the endless attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen in many parts of the country.
Ekweremadu’s advice is coming on the heels of another dawn attack by suspected herdsmen on Attakwu, Akagbe Ugwu community, Enugu State.
Exactly four months after the Nimbo community in the Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State was invaded by rampaging Fulani herdsmen who massacred innocent villagers on April 25, 2016, the cattlemen have struck another Enugu community killing one and injuring four others.
The deceased, Lazarus Nwafor, a Catholic seminarian was doing his apostolic work at Ndiagu Attakwu in Akabeugwu, Enugu West Local Government Area when the herdsmen invaded the bungalow he was staying at about 2:00am on Thursday morning and stabbed him to death.
An eye witness account has it that the previous day, the herdsmen left where they were staying in a nearby bush to graze their cattle in the neighbourhood which prompted an elderly woman to sound the native gong as a way of attracting villagers.
The action angered the herdsmen. They returned in the early hours of the next day to the family of Ogbo Nwarum, ripped open the stomach of the pregnant woman, stabbed the seminarian to death and left others with severe injury.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who visited the community, yesterday, condemned the attack warning that government cannot condone the destruction of lives and property in the state.
“I have already summoned a security meeting to determine the next line of action; I sympathise with you and assure you that the government of Enugu State will always be there for you and shall take care of all medical bills incurred.
“We will ensure security of every community in Enugu State and people found guilty of causing breach of peace will face the wrath of the law.
“I have already summoned a meeting of the Fulani Community and security agencies and I assure you that those who unleashed this attack on you will not go unpunished,” he said.
Ekweremadu 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 put a full stop to the ugly incidents.
Also, the Chairman of the Nkanu West Local Government Caretaker Committee Afam Okereke said: “It is like a black morning. I got a call around 5.00am from the traditional ruler of the community. He said Fulani invaded. It shocked me because we had continued to embark on security meeting with them; their main coordinators are part of our security meeting and they had always promised to maintain peace and order.
“The last meeting we had, we agreed that they are going to submit the list of their members in all our communities, so that when we come we will know the number of Fulanis there, so that in case of any issue we know who to hold responsible. They promised to submit the list but as we speak, that list has not been submitted.
“A seminarian, who just finished his pastoral service and returned to the community yesterday. He is tenant in the community, the landlord, the wife and sister were also attacked. I am just coming from the hospital, Mother of Christ. The old woman was stabbed and her intestine laid on the floor. She has just been moved into the theatre, the sister also moved into the theatre. The man of the family, they used machete to cut his head, he doesn’t hear any more, same with the pregnant wife.”
Greg Ugwu, traditional ruler of Attakwu Akaegbu community described the incident as sad.
“We don’t have any problem with them before now. So I don’t know why they should come this morning to shatter our peace. It happened about 2am this morning,” he said.
Bishop Callistus Onaga, the Bishop of Enugu Catholic Diocese said: “We have been living with these people and all of a sudden, they assumed another effrontery, another change of attitude and boldness to now resort to killing human beings. If they cannot live with us together, let them quietly go away. This is our own land and we cannot park away from here. So, we are appealing to the Federal Government to look into this case because it will get to a time when there will be free reign of anger and rioting. We pray that this should be controlled.”
Meanwhile the Enugu State Commissioner of Police Mr Emmanuel Ojukwu has urged members of the Ndiagu Attakwu community, Akegbe Ugwu to be calm just as he sympathized with the family of the victims and the entire community over the alleged attack by suspected herdsmen.
The commissioner of police made the appeal when he visited the family and the community to assess the incident, as well as commiserate with the people of the community.
Ojukwu urged them not to panic as the state command in partnership with other relevant stakeholders and the state government have stepped into the incident.
The commissioner of police who also visited the injured persons at both Mother of Christ Hospital and Parklane Hospital Enugu respectively disclosed that full scale investigations have commenced into the incident.