By CHIDI NKWOPARA
OWERRI—Several communities in Imo State have cried out over the palpable tension now brewing in the state, following serious security threat posed by the cattle rearers.
At the last count, some communities in Ohaji/Egbema local government area and Irete, Owerri West local council area of the state have at different times been attacked by cattle rearers.
Ugly stories filtering from the communities said rape, destruction of farmlands, cash crops and brutalisation of farmers by the herdsmen had been the order of the day.
Consequently, Irete youths yesterday, stormed Government House, Owerri, to protest the continuing robbery, rape and destruction of crops by the herdsmen that grazed their cows in farmlands in the affected areas.
They particularly mentioned the case of one Mr. Chibuzor Okorie, who was mercilessly beaten by the Fulani herdsmen for kicking against the destruction of their farmlands.
According to the letter addressed to Governor Rochas Okorocha by Irete community and signed by Victor Owuamanam, the aggrieved villagers enumerated the gory activities of the herdsmen in their area.
They lamented that government had done little or nothing to effectively check the activities of the rampaging herdsmen and their cows in their community.
The angry villagers urged government to step in and stop the herdsmen from rearing their cows in their farmlands.
They warned that if government failed to check the herdsmen, the villagers would be forced to kill any cow seen in their area, as well as be prepared to face the consequences therefrom.
Reports coming from Ohaji communities said of attacks on defenceless villagers that occasioned serious harm and rape of their women.
Some Imo citizens who spoke to Vanguard on the issue wondered why the Fulani herdsmen would come from their ancestral homes and unleash unimaginable acts of terrorism on Imo people.
“We are peace loving, friendly, accommodating, industrious and rely heavily on our farms for our sustenance.
“I do not see why our state government is finding it difficult to check these cattle rearers,” Mr. Okey Sunday Ihurueze, a concerned citizen, said.