Killings in Aha-Amafu, terror in Ezeagu as herdsmen reign in Enugu | NN NEWS

Between Saturday November 19 and Monday November 21 2022, terrorists in the disguise of herdsmen overran three communities of Aguamede, Mgbuji and Ebor communities in Eha-Amafu, Isi-Uzo local government area of Enugu state.

Many people were killed, houses destroyed and the villagers fled the communities to Eha-Amufu township where they are now concentrated as Internally Displaced Persons, IDP.

 On intervention to the catastrophic tragedy, the Governor of Enugu state, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Tuesday released millions of naira to support the displaced persons, while condemning the attack and invasion of the people of Enugu state by external aggressors.

 Story from the victimized villagers has it that nine persons were killed at Aguamede, six at Mgbuji, two at Ebor and one person at Umujiovh. A cross section of Eha-Amufu people interviewed said that they could not tell exactly what the problem was that brought about the attacks on the communities which started early this year. From January to July 2022, terrorists invaded Ebor, Mgbuji, Aguamede and other farm settlements in Eha-Amufu, which resulted in the death of over six persons and many casualties. Soldiers were deployed but the soldiers left and the attack continued.

 The terrorists whom the Eha-Amufu people say were herders came in full force in July and killed many people and burnt houses and properties. More than 20 motorcycles and houses were razed, and were said to have promised that they would come back. At a point within the years the killings took the dimension of kidnapping for ransom. Women were raped; arson and destruction of properties such as farm crops took place, with Eha-Amufu indigenes chased out from their land.

 An indigene of Mgbuji, Mr. Benjamin Edeh dismissed a version of the story making the rounds that some indigenes of Eha-Amufu  sold a portion of their land to the Fulani herders who now want the natives to leave the land for them since they had allegedly sold the land to the Fulani.

 Collaborating Edeh’s view the South East Chairman of Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki said that the Fulani herdsmen don’t buy lands anywhere, noting that if the herders were to buy lands, they would have bought all the lands in northern Nigeria, where there are enough portions of land.

 Edeh said that what was happening was a fulfillment of what the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu said that the Fulani were coming with a mission to conquer and dominate. He denied that the Eha-Amafu people ever killed any Fulani and cited the instance of the same Fulani invasion and killing of the people of Benue state for no just cause. In Plateau, there are places they occupy now following incessant attacks similar to the ones happening in Enugu now.

 “We have boundary with Benue state, and ever since this thing started happening, we have not seen any government intervention. Is it the ten million naira given by the state government that is the solution to the problem? The soldiers are here but they are doing nothing, they have not even moved an inch into where the problem is, they are only stationed along Ikem road whereas the problem is taking place many kilometers away from where they are. The people they are arresting are boys smoking India hemp. All our people at the farm settlements have been sacked by the Fulani,” Edeh said.

 The MACBAN Chairman in South East Siddiki told Saturday Vanguard that there has been dialogue between the Eha-Amufu communities and the herders at Obollo-Afor, but that the Chairman of Isi-Uzo local government council said the meeting should be shifted to Ikem, the council headquarters which the herders refused on the grounds that they had left Eha-Amufu.

 “Why the herders left that place is because anytime they see them there at Eha-Amufu they will be attacked. So they are scared to come to the community any more. We moved the meeting to government house and we met once but then we did not meet again, but last week a Fulani man called me and said that one of them was abducted in that place and that he was killed. Whether he was killed or not they said they have not seen him, they didn’t see the corpse and they didn’t see the person.

 “I called the Chairman and told him what was happening and he said he will find out, but you know the Eha-Amufu people have boundary dispute with the Benue state people so it may not be entirely correct to say that it is the Fulani that is fighting them but for now I cannot say its Fulani or not Fulani because I am not there. But these are the reports I get. I don’t know what is happening there again because our people have left that place. The peace parley was not conclusive and so my people cannot go back there again, we don’t know what happened there,” Sidikki narrated.

 Similarly, last week Friday, terrorists at Amansiodo-Oghe in Ezeagu local government area of Enugu state, opened fire on one Mr. Jude Eze who escaped with his bullet-riddled car.

 An ex-councilor in the area, Hon. Priscilla narrated that the community’s vigilante quickly swooped into action for a counter offensive but were also repelled by the terrorists. She said that both the cars of the neighborhood watch group and that of Mr. Jude were badly riddled with bullets even to the engine parts, noting that those attacked were lucky to have escaped death. “The matter was reported to the police but nothing has been heard from the incident,” She said.

 In the same Ezeagu local government area, a traditional ruler, HRH Igwe Umeanayo Okongwu noted that what the council area suffers mostly is insecurity caused by herdsmen kidnapping, starting from Ugwueke, close to Nigeria Breweries Plc Ama plant, down to Akama-Oghe, Olo and the rest of Ezeagu local government areas.

 The Monarch said: “The kidnappings are too many, there have been many occurrences at Ugwueke there and some have been arrested while the DPO at Aguobu-Owa is in position to say the number arrested and other details. There have been kidnappings in Obeleagu-Umana, Umumba-Ndiagbu, and Olo on a daily basis, because the Olo community is between Uzo-Uwani and Ezeagu. In fact there are serious challenges in Ezeagu that include farm lands invasion and destruction. It’s just that human kidnapping is the height of it all. It’s almost a daily affair that people are no longer sure of going to Ezeagu and coming back safe.”

The police command in Enugu has however visited scenes of the Eha-Amufu massacre, where the state Commissioner of Police, Ahmed Ammani condoled with the bereaved families and ordered discreet investigation into the continued clashes between farmers and herders, while initiating non-kinetic approach to resolving the lingering conflict.

Ammani represented by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of Operations, and heads of other security agencies, including the Garrison Commander, 82 Division of the Nigerian Army Enugu, the Assistant Director of Operations, Department of State Services Enugu and teams of Police/Army personnel, in company of the Chairman of Isi-Uzo LGA, on Tuesday visited Ohuala-Mgbede, Aguemede and Mgbuji villages in Eha-Amufu where the killings took place.

The police said that the visit was aimed at ascertaining the circumstances surrounding the reported attacks and murder in the villages, stating that the victims’ remains have been deposited in the mortuary for preservation and autopsy, after they were confirmed dead by doctors.

“According to the State Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe: “The Joint Police/Army team stationed within Eha-Amufu community has been reinforced and drafted to the area to prevent further occurrence of the incident and to fish out the perpetrators. (Vanguard)

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