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HomeCrimeArmed Fulani Terrorists Strike the Heart of Igbo Land, Killing 4

Armed Fulani Terrorists Strike the Heart of Igbo Land, Killing 4

By Ebere Inyama

(Lagos) More victims of Nigeria’s complex civil strife fell early Sunday morning in the State of Enugu, once the heart of Biafra during Nigeria’s genocidal civil war of the 1960s.

Men speaking the language of the Fulani tribe, one of Nigeria’s biggest ethnicities, attacked the Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani local government area (county) of Enugu state, killing at least 4 people and leaving many others injured.

The tragic loss of life was the 10th such onslaught  in Enugu by herders since 2012.  The loss of life called a “Christian genocide” by many observers involves the Fulani herding tribe seeking to claim more territory for their herds. Most such attacks during the last 12 years have happened in Nigeria’s Middle Belt, but Enugu is a state of Nigeria’s Southeast region, where swamp forests in its south meet lush grasslands in the northern band of the state. The attacks currently claims 8,000 lives a year, according to the crime-tracking group called Intersociety.

This latest attack, recorded in the early hours of Sunday, 28 April, 2024 took the community by surprise.

A resident of Nimbo Community who identified himself as “Godwin” told TruthNigeria that he saw the dead bodies of four people lying in a pool of their own blood.

“We were at the middle of a funeral in Ugwuijoro village located in the Nimbo community when more than 30 armed Fulani herders arrived at the scene on several motorcycles and opened fire on us. Four people were killed on the spot while several others escaped with various degrees of injuries sustained from bullet wounds.

“Among those killed were Julius Ogbonna Odiegwu, Okeh Simon, Ugwu Oruku, Okeh Chukwuebuka and Gabriel Ugwor Ezea,” Godwin said to TruthNigeria.

“The big problem we have at hand is that these herdsmen have set up many camps in the forests around Ugboda, Adani and Opanda, all in Uzo-uwani Local Government Area,” Godwin went on to say.

“The absence of security personnel in Nimbo and some other areas where herders often wreak havoc has left the villagers abandoned to their fate.

“The herders are still coming into Uzo-Uwani with their trailer loads of cattle, I don’t know what is giving them the morale. I don’t know what we have done to deserve these inhuman treatments,” Godwin added.

When contacted by TruthNigeria, the police spokesperson in Enugu State, DSP Daniel Ndukwe confirmed the attack.

“Yes some people were killed on Sunday at Nimbo and there have been a response to that. The state governor has also visited the scene and the police is on top of the situation. You can send me a message via my WhatsApp so I can avail you the press statement to that effect,” he said.

In an interview published on YouTube by TVC news, the President–General of Nimbo community, Mr.  Akachukwu Clement, told the Governor of Enugu state that last Sunday’s attack on the community is one too many. According to him, the attackers had preyed on their community for decades due to the remoteness of the area. Clement was responding to a speech made by the governor during his visit to Nimbo to commiserate with the families of the victims.

“These attackers know all the routes in the villages and bushes so well. We need our local vigilantes to be strengthened because they can match them. The width and length of our farmlands are so massive,” Clement said.

 “You can see for yourself that Nimbo is living at the outskirts of Enugu State. We live directly in the [northern] border area, and they come in any time and kill and go back,” Clement said.

“It has repeated itself again and now, not only one person, but four were killed. About two months ago, they kidnapped a number of people, but they were rescued, although the kidnappers escaped. It has been like this for years, even before I was born,” Clement said.

Earlier, the governor of Enugu state, Mr. Peter Mbah, described last Sunday’s attack on Nimbo Community as a collective tragedy to Enugu State.

 “Let me assure you that enough is enough. I don’t think that we would allow our hospitality to be taken for granted. We expect people, who have come to mingle with us, to also play by the rules and laws of our land,” Gov. Mbah said.

“I don’t think that we really do have any reason to exist as a government if we cannot guarantee the safety of our people because the primary purpose of government is to guarantee the security and the welfare of its citizens. So, a situation where our people would go to bed with their two eyes open must end. And it must end immediately,” the governor added.

 “We are truly pained by such dastardly killing by people who trespass, come into the locality of our people, who are living quietly within their environment, and open fire on them. That is inexcusable and unacceptable, and we are going to identify, track these culprits, pursue them wherever they are, capture them, and ensure that we bring them to justice,” the governor said.

Violent attacks by armed herdsmen have occurred repeatedly not only in Nimbo community, but also in other communities in Enugu state. Nimbo is prone to attack due to the fact that the community shares a boundary with Kogi state, from where the armed herders come in to launch attacks, according to locals speaking to TruthNigeria.

Ebere Inyama is a journalist covering Southeastern Nigeria for TruthNigeria.

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