•Ekweremadu condemns attack, urges Senate to conduct public hearing on menace
From Chidi Nnadi, Enugu
Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, yesterday, broke down in tears when he beheld the remains of Ugwu Ogbu, a National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) teacher from Enugu Ezike in Igboeze North Local Government Area, who served in Nimbo community,
Almost immediately, the governor called for fasting and prayers for two days, to seek God’s intervention.
The governor also sued for peace at Ukpabi, Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area where suspected Fulani herdsmen killed scores of villagers.
The governor also disclosed that he would pay for medical bills of those receiving treatment in the various hospitals as a result of injuries sustained during the attack.
“We are going to seek God’s intervention in this matter. It is my belief that this too will pass away. The entire people of Enugu State are with you in this moment of grief,” Ugwuanyi assured the victims.
He also explained that upon receipt of the report that there were plans to attack the community by the herdsmen believed to have come from Nasarawa State, he convened an emergency security council meeting on Sunday where far reaching decisions were taken to ensure that lives and property were protected.
“A combined team of police, soldiers, civil defence operatives were dispatched to the community but on Monday, we heard that they still carried out the threat resulting in the situation we are presently facing. No matter what, we are hopeful that God will save us from the present situation; that’s why I’ve declared fasting and prayers in the state for the next two days,” he told the people.
The governor also visited the traditional ruler of Nimbo community, Chief John Akor, where he lamented the loss of lives and destruction of property in his domain, as well as the burning of the Christ Holy Church, Onueke Nimbo by the attackers.
He also assured the people of the community that the state was making frantic efforts to find a lasting solution to the problem.
He appealed to the people, especially young men not to take laws into their hands by engaging in any form of reprisal attack.
The governor visited Nimbo and some of the hospitals in the state where the victims of the attack were hospitalised with Senator Chuka Utazi, representing Enugu North Senatorial zone; the GOC, 82 Division, Major General Ibrahim Attahiru; state Police Commissioner, Mr. Nwodibo Ekechukwu; and top government officials, also declared two days prayers and fasting, asking God to intervene and save his people from incessant attacks from the herdsmen.
He also donated N5 million as immediate relief to the area where economic activities have been totally shutdown and noted that his government was leaving no stone unturned to forestall future occurrences of such attacks just as he believed that President Muhammadu Buhari would do something urgently to arrest the ugly trend.
Ugwuanyi, however, regretted that the attacks, which he said had spread across the country, were reoccurring in the state but assured that all necessary security checks have been put in place to stem the ugly tide.
Nimbo is deserted
Nimbo was practically deserted, leaving economic activities dead to the extent that even students taking part in the ongoing West African Examination Council (WAEC) examination forfeited their Tuesday papers.
They simply refused to show up.
Most of the victims of the Monday attack, who sustained severe injuries were treated at different hospitals including Royal Cross Hospital, Bishop Shanahan and Nsukka District hospitals while some others have been referred to the National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu, and Park Lane Hospital, Enugu.
One of the community leaders, Dr Ajokwu George, appealed to the state government to come to their aid, as their community had become a hunting ground for herdsmen.
“We are not really happy because our community is under threat, we have been burying our loved ones. We are more worried because in this case, we even alerted the security agents that these people were planning to attack us, but nothing was done.
“As we speak, we’ve recovered over 20 corpses and we are still recovering more. Several others are in the morgue and in the hospitals. What did we do to deserve this? We are really pleading that something be done. Our women have been raped and killed and nothing has happened.
“What has happened is just the tip of an iceberg because we know they will come again. The way they invaded our community and raped women before their husbands is worrisome. We need security here not just for a day or week, but for months to protect us. We thank you for coming to empathise with us and we want you to deliver our people from this problem,” he pleaded.
Ekweremadu condemns attack
Meanwhile, in Abuja, Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, condemned killing of unarmed residents of Nimbo by persons suspected to be armed herdsmen.
He called for an immediate resolution of the unending conflict between farmers and cattle herdsmen, who he said threaten to throw the entire nation into another round of crisis.
Senator Ekweremadu made the call at the plenary when he relied on Order 43 of the Senate Standing Orders to make a personal explanation over the mayhem in Uzo-Uwani community, where he said over 50 lives were reportedly lost, while over 2,000 persons were displaced and homes amid property worth millions of Naira were destroyed.
He urged the Senate to immediately conduct a public hearing to enable all stakeholders to state their feelings and experiences with a view to finding a lasting solution to the issue.