The people of Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government yesterday told Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase, that policemen who were officially posted to protect them from the Fulani herdsmen disappeared shortly before the attackers arrived and killed over 20 people.
Spokesperson of the community, Dr George Ajogwu, who made this known, told Arase that the Fulani attackers were led by a police corporal serving at Adani Police Station in the local government. P
According to him, it was, however, the arrival of another police team from the Area Commander’s office that minimised the level of destruction as the new team challenged the attackers frontally.
Ajogwu’s account of the incident was, however, disputed by the transition committee chairman of the local government, Cornell Onwubuya, who disrupted the speaker, leading to an uproar.
However, Ajogwu, who insisted that he must be allowed to speak as he was a member of the community, said: “What happened was that the policemen posted to the community left, despite the fact that we pleaded with them to stay till those who would relieve them arrived. But they did not listen to us.
“Immediately they moved out that morning, the Fulani herdsmen struck. If the policemen had listened to us, the incident would have been nipped in the bud. It was only the Area Commander’s men from Nsukka that responded.
“I am from this community; what happened affected us. The situation is unbelievable. We cannot say exactly the number of people that died but the death toll is above 20. The Fulani herdsmen had been attacking us on regular basis.
“Annually, we lose two or three people to the Fulani attackers. I am very happy that the IGP is here to witness what the Fulani herdsmen have done to us. On yearly basis, we bury people killed by Fulani herdsmen.
“We do not go to the farms again. We have been crying to the police to help us. The Fulani herdsmen rape our wives in our farms.
“Ralph Ojombo went to the farm when the corporal came with the same Alhaji that attacked our people earlier before now. The corporal is serving at Adani Police Station. The youth were there when he came with the Fulani herdsmen and started shooting at the young boys. What saved most of them was that they ran away. Some of the youths asked him whether he was part of the Fulani herdsmen; he ordered them to shut up their dirty mouths.”
It’s pathetic — Arase
Responding, the IGP, Solomon Arase said: “The incident is very depressing and pathetic. I am not happy about it. The death of one person diminishes humanity. I am concerned about the number of people that died. Even the death of one person means a lot to the entire country. That is why I decided to come and have an on-the-spot assessment of the situation. Most of the stories we have out there were at variance with what is on the ground. Thank God.
“I have been discussing with Senator Chuka Utazi (who represents Enugu North and is from Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area) and the local government chairman (Cornell Onwubuya) even before the incident. We are looking for the panacea to the problem.
“Now that I am here, I am able to see what has happened. We should be able to find solutions to the problems. I can assure Nigerians that no Nigerian who snuffed life out of a fellow Nigerian will got scot-free. We will make sure that we catch the perpetrators of the crime and prosecute them.” Commenting on the police corporal who allegedly led the Fulani attack, Arase said,
“The police corporal that was mentioned as conniving with the herdsmen, I have ordered that he should be put in custody. The police have zero tolerance for any police officer that conspires with any criminal.”
Also responding to the claims that more dead bodies were still in the bushes and farms, Arase directed the Enugu State Police Commissioner, Ekechukwu Nwodibo who was present to send the homicide squad from Enugu to join the search parties in a bid to recover all of them.
He then promised that a police station would be built at Nkpunato Nkpologwu, near Nimbo to reduce crimes in the area.
Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/04/enugu-attack-buhari-orders-crackdown-rampaging-herdsmen/