Thursday, 19 January 2017

Fulani waiting to attack Umuoba-Anam as kinsmen kill herdsmen

 Image result for picture of fulani herdsmen

By Okechukwu Onuegbu

Tension is currently building up at Umuoba-Anam, Anambra East Local government area of Anambra state following an alleged killing of some Fulani herdsmen by yet to be disclosed youth of the community. learnt that the herdsmen were murdered while passing through Umuoba-anam to make some purchase at Otoucha market, some kilometers away from their base.

This kind of incident had in the past, allegedly aggravated herdsmen into attacking some host communities across the nation, including Nimbo, Uzo Uwani local government area of Enugu State, and recently, Okoti-Odekpe community in Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State, leading to death of many even as some persons sustained various degrees of injuries.

Recounting the alleged killings to our reporter, two Fulanis, who identified themselves as Sani and Ahmed, said their brothers left Eziagulu Otu on motorcycle to buy things but never returned to their base, and were later discovered to have been killed at Umuoba-Anam.

“Our base is usually at Eziagulu Otu Aguleri. We found enough grass for our animals there. But whenever our food stuff and other things finish, we usually send some of our junior ones to use motorcycle to go and purchase them at Otuocha market because things are cheaper there than where we stay.

“Even Eziagulu-Otu people come to Otu Ocha market to buy things they sell. Unfortunately, as we expected our people to return but they never did, we called them on their phones but we could not get them until night. We called our brothers who live in neighbouring towns asking their whereabouts but they told us they did not see them.

“We became worried and suspected that something bad had happened to them because they were not known like that. We discussed, and next day, we started searching for them all over the places. The four persons we sent to quietly find out what happened to our brothers came back and informed us that discovered a particular spot where our brothers were killed at Umuoba Anam.

“We have the pictures but we can’t release to you now. We are not happy at all. How can these people kill our brothers for nothing? We have not fought them before now. Our animals have never eaten up their crops. Therefore, we cannot endure this killing at all”, Sani said.

But speaking to, the traditional ruler of Umuoba-Anam, Igwe George Ekwealor, while acknowledging that the killings took place in his community, insisted that the alleged killers were not from Umuoba-anam, even as he lamented that they never discussed with anybody to kill any human being in any guise as they respect human life.

Igwe Ekwealor, who said he has mobilised elders of the community, his cabinet chiefs and the vigilant group to search for the alleged culprits, noted that two suspects have been arrested to that effect.

The monarch added that he had informed the Anambra State Commissioner of police and other relevant authorities about the incident, as well as handed the two suspects over to the police for subsequent prosecution, and would never spare any stranger living with them whose intention is to cause upheaval.

“We are not happy over this killing. We did not send anybody to attack Fulani herdsmen. They have been passing through our community to other towns without causing trouble. We have never had any problem with them therefore those who committed this act should face the law of the land. We are peace loving people right from time immemorial. We don’t want fight of any kind. Let us make peace. What has happened has happened therefore let us make peace. We are ready to make peace”, he pleaded.

When contacted, the Anambra State Police Public Relations Officer, Nkiruka Nwode, said that the police is still investigating the matter to ascertain the truth and caution the youths to be law abiding instead of taking laws into their hands.

Nwode added that the Commissioner of police, Sam Okaula, has deployed a team of policemen to the area to maintain peace and order, and advised both parties to refrain from attack or reprisal as police were positioned to maintain order.



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