By Chinenye Ozor
But for providence,23-year-old Ogbonna Eze , a commercial motorcyclist from Opi Community in Nsukka Local Government Area of Enugu state, would have been lying six feet below the earth. Eze, who is currently undergoing treatment in an undisclosed private hospital around Bishop Shanahan area of Nsukka, over an attack from some Fulani herdsmen, fled Kano State following the bomb attacks by the dreaded Boko Haram sect.
On that fateful day, October 1, 2012, he had conveyed two Fulani herdsmen from Opi Junction along Enugu -Makurdi Expressway , heading for their camp at Idodo Agu Ekwegbe, Igbo Etiti local government area on a special drop.
But midway into the journey, he got the shock of his life following an order from the men for him to stop, on reaching a market close to the camp. But before he could fathom the reason for the order, Eze who spoke to Crime Alert from his hospital bed, said they landed a machete on his head, which made him fall off from his motor bike.
As if that was not enough, his assailants brought out daggers with which they attacked him, chopping off his left ear in the process. At the end, he was abandoned in the pool of his own blood, while they absconded with his motor bike.
Recounting what he described as an unforgettable incident, Eze stated, “I did not know they had a sinister motive up their sleeves when they flagged me. It was when they asked me to stop that I knew something could be wrong. They forced me to a path from where they attacked me and made away with all the cash I had made for the day including my motorcycle.
“After I was sure they were gone, I managed to roll from the path to the expressway so as to get help, a task I did with the whole of my strength. By then, I was bleeding profusely. I cannot tell how I got to the expressway. But it was dark then. I tried to call for help but could not. I raised my hand to signify that there was somebody on the road but yet, help was far from me. At that point, I thought I was going to die. You can imagine, I fled Kano State because of Boko Haram people, only to meet their type here. That was the only thing I remember”
By then, Eze had passed out. Even though Crime Alert gathered that motorists and commercial motorcyclists plied the route at that time, none could stop like the Biblical good Samaritan to help the dying man.
Meanwhile back home, a search party as gathered went round the community looking for Eze. His cousin, George Ugwueze , told Crime Alert that after a futile search, the case was reported at the Nsukka Urban Police Division.
On how Eze was eventually found, Gorge explained, “ As we went looking all round for him, a motorcyclist informed us that the body of someone laid close to Nkwo Ekwegbe market. But none could go near that place for fear of being attacked by the Fulani herdsmen. We were made to understand that they are usually armed with dangerous weapons such as guns, machetes and bows and arrows”.
However at the end, a group of young men from the community reportedly stormed the location where Eze was found motionless. He was thereafter , rushed to the hospital where he was said to be in a coma.
Investigation by Crime Alert revealed that the attack on Eze was not the first of its kind. It was gathered that barely one month ago, two students from Nimbo community in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area were killed by some Fulani herdsmen.
Since the incident which currently grips the community with trepidation, Crime Alert learnt that no arrest had been made nor any move made to recover Eze’s motorcycle. The community also blamed police nonchalant attitude to the continued attack by Fulani herdsmen.
Contacted, the Divisional Police Officer for Nsukka Police division Mr. James Nwokolo, a Chief Superintendent of Police told Crime Alert that the Police was not an advertising agency, adding that it was not in his position to say whether any person had been arrested in connection with the Independence day incident. “ The incident is not for press consumption”, he stated, declining to respond to further questions.