Angry voices have continued to rise over last Thursday’s attack, by suspected Fulani herdsmen, on Ndiagu Attakwu community in Nkanu-West Local Government Area of Enugu State that left a seminarian and a woman dead, and three others critically wounded.
With the reported death of the second victim of the attack, the Councillors’ Forum, an association of former and current Councillor’s in the state has called for an immediate ban on grazing in the state.
Speaking to newsmen shortly after their visit of the community, leader of the Councillors Forum Hon. Chidiebere Oko, noted that the situation has become so serious that it should no longer be treated with kid gloves.
“Just as we condemn the act, we cannot continue to fold our arms not knowing what tomorrow has in stock. This is getting out of hand and it is time to act. We have, thus, decided as a body, to call for an immediate ban on any form of grazing across the length and breadth of Enugu State.” Oko said.
He called on the state House of Assembly to urgently make a legislation outlawing grazing in Enugu State “be it by Fulani people or any other person for that matter.”
Reacting to the attack, the Senate Committee Chairman on Communications, Gilbert Nnaji, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to declare a state of emergency on activities of herders in the country, while others, including the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO), and Igbo Ohanaeze Media Forum have called for various measures ranging from introduction of bills criminalising indiscriminate grazing to outright ban of buying and selling of cow meat by the Igbos.
The Senator, while condoling with families of the victims, warned that until governments at all levels recognise the menace as a national concern, all the public outcries would amount to nothing.
He added that apart from ensuring that the perpetrators of this dastardly act are brought to book as a deterrent to further attacks, the Federal Government should come up with stringent measures to tackle the issue once and for all, in the interest of the country.
The senator had made a similar call while contributing to the motion, at the senate in April this year, on the massacre of the people of Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani LGA of Enugu.
Describing the killings as callous and provocative, the Civil Liberties Organisation, (CLO), South-East Zone, urged the governors of the states that make up the zone to sponsor bills in the state Houses of Assembly that would make it a criminal offence for herdsmen to engage in indiscriminate grazing within the zone.
A statement signed by the South-East zonal Chairman of the body, Comrade Aloysius Attah, described the incessant killings by herdsmen as an act of barbarism and terrorism against Igbo people.
In its own reaction, Ohanaeze Media Forum (OMF), the umbrella body said to be made of Igbo journalists called on Ndigbo in every part of the country to shun cow meat as a way of registering their displeasure over the incessant killing of their kits and kins by Fulani herdsmen.
In a communiqué issued at the end of their emergency meeting in Lagos and signed by Chidiadi Elendu and Ngozi Emedoluibe chairman and secretary respectively, the body called on traditional rulers in the South East to ban the use of cow meat in any festival activity in Igbo land.
“When everybody begins to shun cow meat the herdsmen would realize that they no longer have business in Igbo land and would leave,” it noted.