David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Youths of Anambra West Local Government Area, Anambra State, yesterday, staged a peaceful demonstration against what they called herdsmen’s siege on their area, resulting in killings, maiming and raping of women, mainly local farmers.
The youths drawn from Umueze Anam, Umuoba Anam, Mmiata, Iyiora, Ezi Anam, Umuikwu, Umudora, Oroma-Etiti Anam and Umueme Anam along with those from Igala speaking area comprising Nzam, Innoma, Odekpe and Allah insisted that government must intervene in the crisis immediately to avoid them taking laws into their hands.
They all gathered at the Umueze Anam Bridge, the only link road between Anam and Igala communities with the rest of the communities in Anambra State, to register their grievances over the “barbaric killings” by the armed killer herdsmen.
They displayed placards with various inscriptions showing their anger and frustration. They also demanded a halt to the killings of their people by herdsmen.
The youths numbering over 150 held their protest in different groups and locations at the Umueze Anam Bridge, chanting anti-violent killings songs, calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and Governor Willie Obiano to intervene to stop further killings in the area.
Addressing newsmen after the protest, the spokesman and secretary of the youths, Mr. Odikpo Madubueze and Mr Ikechukwu Onuorah, said that they have been humiliated by visitors in their communities while government is asking them to be patient.
Onuorah said: “We are just respecting Obiano, that is why we have not confronted the killer herdsmen. But if they continue what they are doing, we will confront them and it will be bloody. I am sure at the end of the clash, no herdsman will ever come into Anambra West.
“We are disappointed that the government is paying lip service to addressing the problem. How can people be sleeping in their farm settlements and in their homes, while visitors will attack, kill and cut off their neck? It makes it look as if we are weak, we do not want to create an embarrassing situation for the governor, but we expect him to act now.
Madubueze said: “We do not want to take laws into our hands, but the federal and Anambra state governments should not allow us to match them violence for violence. They have killed many of our people and farmers have deserted their farms.
“We cannot run away from our farms and villages because of people we decided to accommodate to do their cattle rearing business.