Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, yesterday, broke down in tears on sighting the carnage and destruction at Ukpabi Nimbo in Uzouwani Local Government Area of Enugu State. The community was attacked on Monday by suspected Fulani herdsmen.
According to New Telegraph, the governor called for two days of fasting and prayer as more butchered bodies were recovered. The community was deserted as those left were wearing long faces.
One of the bodies recovered during the visit that moved the governor to tears was that of a teacher posted to the community from Enugu Ezike. The recovered body was identified as Ugwu Ogbu. “We have become refugees in our community”, lamented the traditional ruler of Nimbo.
He said their women were raped daily in the farm and their men killed. He asked whether they were still part of Enugu State. A Catholic church, Christ Holy Church, Onueke Nimbo, and 11 houses were burnt. More than 30 people were reportedly killed during the Monday’s attack.
New Telegraph reports that since the incident, there has been a mass exodus of people from the community to neighbouring villages. Schools, churches and homes were burnt down by the herdsmen, who were said to have numbered in their hundreds, during the attack. In the three hospitals visited by New Telegraph in Nsukka yesterday, over 20 survivors were battling to survive as many of them who sustained serious machete cuts were still wailing on their beds.
At Bishop Shanahan Hospital, Nsukka, five injured people were receiving treatment with some cuts on their heads, legs and hands. They were able to survive the attacks by the herdsmen while six bodies were deposited at the morgue. Also at Royal Cross Hospital, a former councillor in the area was receiving treatment following injuries he sustained during the attack. Ugwuanyi, who visited the troubled area and the hospitals, expressed dismay over the incident.
He promised government’s assistance towards the plight of the victims. He also made a donation of N5 million to the community and appealed to those that fled their homes to come back as government was doing all it could to restore normalcy to the area.
“Be that as it may, what has happened, has happened. This is not the time to blame anybody. Government will do what it is supposed to do. I understand that economic activities have been shut down here. We will, as a government, make available the sum of N5 million to the leaders of this community and then from there, proceed to the hospital, settle all the bills and then later, we go to the next line of action.
“May I, therefore, call on the entire people of Enugu State to please embark on fasting for two days and put this into the hands of God. Enugu is in the hands of God. I reassure this community that the government and the people of Enugu State are behind you; your pain is our pain,” Ugwuanyi stated.
The governor stated that it was “a solemn moment in the state”. Ugwuanyi said he was more embarrassed that the attack could come after every effort and meetings he held with the security agencies and leaders of the Fulani community in the state.
“I share in your grieve because this is part of me lying down here. These are real victims of democracy and they have paid dearly with their lives. I have come to identify with you and share in your pains and I will pacify you as much as I would wish that God will intervene and bring solution to all these,” he said. The community said that over 20 persons were killed while more bodies still lay in the bushes.
The governor later visited the hospitals where some of the injured natives were being attended to. Ugwuanyi was accompanied on the visit by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 82 Division, Major General Attahiru Ibrahim; the State Commissioner of Police, Elochukwu Nwodibo; Commandant of Civil Defence in the state, among other top government functionaries.