Magnus Eze, Enugu
BLOODBATH was recently averted at Ezi Nze community in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State following alleged killing of unspecified number of cows belonging to Fulani herdsmen by youths of the area.
For peace to reign, the community was asked to pay about N2 million. Newly elected President of Ezi Nze Town Union, Kelvin Ochi, who disclosed this in an interview with Daily Sun in Enugu, said the community has, so far, paid N600,000 to the herders.
He lamented the devastation caused by the people of the agrarian community in the last two years, noting that farms had been destroyed, women raped and people maimed.
He disclosed that a young boy of about 13 years recently shot by herders in the area, is still receiving treatment at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT) Teaching Hospital, Park Lane, Enugu.
Ochi, who said his people have been chased away from their means of livelihood, regretted that the peace committee constituted by the government to handle issues between farmers and herders had paid deaf ears to their complaints.
“Recently, they came and arrested our boys alleging that they killed their cows. They charged us N2 million and we have started to pay and I think so far, we’ve paid up to N600,000 to the Fulani people.
When they arrested our boys, we had no option than to dance to their tune,” he said.
Elsewhere, legal adviser of Ezi Nze General Assembly, Ike Odume, blamed the frequent clashes between herders and farmers in the community to the absence of a traditional ruler for the community since seven years ago when the last one died.
Odume, in a letter dated May 20, 2018, appealed to the Commissioner for Rural Development and Chieftaincy Affairs to urgently intervene and resolve their traditional rulership impasse.