From Chris O. Chris, Nsukka
Nimbo community has, again, become a ghost town following the return of Fulani herdsmen who allegedly raped no fewer than six women.
Traditional ruler of the community, Igwe John Ikemefuna Akoh revealed this to Nsukka General Assembly when the group paid a visit to his palace before making a donation of over N1.4 million to the victims of the April 25 massacre in the community.
In his words: “We are glad you people are here today to also share our present fear. For the past two days, our people have not been going to farm as Fulani herdsmen have taken over the entire farm in Nimbo community destroying farmlands and threatening to unleash more terror. Some of our people who saw them said they told them that they were back to unleash more terror with more sophisticated weapons. The herdsmen chased them away and ushered their cattle into the farm. Since then, many people have left the village because they are afraid that more disastrous attack would happen at any time.
“We have called the Divisional Police Officer in charge of this area and he said they did not have fuel in their vehicle,” the Igwe said.
However, when Chief Nnia Nwodo, who is a member of the group called the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State, Emmanuel Ojukwu, to intimate him on the report, he confirmed the report and said Nsukka Area Command has been instructed to arrest the situation and promised he was on the way to Nimbo.
However, Chairman of Nsukka General Assembly, Prof. Lawrence Ochor called on the state government to declare a state of emergency in Enugu State to avoid another attack even as he urged the community to protect themselves with any available means within their reach. “I urge the youths of Nimbo to mobilise themselves and protect their village from the menace of Fulani herdsmen. We cannot run away from our village, it is time full state of emergency is declared so as to avert another possible attack. We are confident that the administration of Governor Ugwuanyi is on top of this matter but, more effort is needed from everybody to rescue our state from the hands of Fulani herdsmen.”
While donating over N1.4 million on behalf of the group to the victims, Ochor urged the victims to forget the attack and move on with their lives, believing God to provide for them. The community, has however called on the state government to declare state of emergency in the area so as to help avert the impending danger. Speaking through their spokesman, Apostle Dr. Akachukwu Clement, the community said their lives have been threatened following the return of Fulani herdsmen and therefore, called Ugwuanyi to take more drastic actions to save the community.
“No amount of security personnel can stop these people.”
However, Nwodo has affirmed that Nsukka people and Enugu State in general cannot condone any other attack from Fulani herdsmen and that further attack on any Enugu Community will be disastrous to Nigeria as a whole.
Similarly, the parish priest of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Nimbo, Rev. Fr. Obetta Okeke pleaded with the state government to come to their rescue.
He also revealed that the herdsmen have continued to rape their women and were threatening to unleash more mayhem in the community. “We are calling on the state and Federal Government to come to our rescue as these herdsmen continue to attack our villagers. The war is not over. Many women have been raped and our people have not been going to farm for the past two days and that farm is the only source of income to the community. Hectares of farm lands have been destroyed since their return and as raining season will soon stop, famine will soon hit this community and Enugu at large as Uzouwani is considered the food basket of this state,” Fr. Okeke said.
Meanwhile, the military personnel posted to the community following the attack of April 25 have abandoned the community without any known cause. According to the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe John Akoh, the military people who have been in the area since the attack recently disappeared without any known reason and it has created more fear in the community. “Our people are in fear not only because the herdsmen have returned but also because the military people who have been here just disappeared without informing anybody or saying anything to us. And in just few days after their withdrawal, the herdsmen returned. And if you recall, the same thing happened when the herdsmen attacked us in April. The security agencies were patrolling around during that time but just few minutes to the attack, they disappeared and our people were butchered on that day. So, the same thing is happening now and it made our people to be living in fear while others have left the community. Today is our market day, but you can see that nobody is there because they have all left the community,” the Igwe said.