No Fulani man can go near Nimbo now, Fulani community in Enugu insists
By Francis Igata
Contrary to some newspaper reports yesterday alleging that Fulani herdsmen are back to Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani local government area of Enugu state and that five of their women have been raped, the traditional ruler of the community which was attacked on April 25, 2016, Igwe John Akor and Enugu state Police Command said in Enugu that herdsmen are not back to the community.
The monarch said there was no truth whatsoever in the report that anybody was raped in his community, explaining that though soldiers keeping the peace have left the community, there is still a heavy presence of police personnel all over the community.
Also debunking the said newspaper reports, leaders of the Fulani community in Enugu state vowed that under no circumstance would any Fulani herdsman return to Nimbo after the killings that caused so much uproar in April.
Bala Ardo, secretary general of the group, was flanked by other leaders as he spoke to newsmen yesterday, adding that the leaders of the group have in the past few weeks been moving round communities where their members are grazing with a view to creating platforms for dialogue and reconciliation where there is disagreement between them and their host communities.
Igwe Akor denied ever saying that the herdsmen are back to his community and said there has been no further threat to peace in the area since the last incident occurred. He said he was surprised to read such reports in the media.
On his part, the Police Public Relations Officer for the Enugu State Police Command, SP Ebere Amaraizu, also debunked the reports, saying that ever since the ugly attack on the community, there has been heavy presence of men of the command and that it was not possible in the present circumstance for the marauding herdsmen to return to the community under any guise, not to talk of raping women.
He said the police have already started their investigation to get at the root of the reports by finding out those who fed the press with such false information and what their motives were. Apart from issuing a statement on the development, the Police Spokesman also briefed some journalists on the matter.
Also reacting to the situation yesterday in a statement, the Chairman of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Transition Committee, Mr. Conel Onwubuya, regretted the new insinuations on the Nimbo matter, saying it was totally false to report that the herdsmen are back to the area.
He recalled the current efforts his administration has been making and the all-round efforts of Governor Ifeanyi’s administration to ensure that the Nimbo killings would become the last of such crisis between herdsmen and communities in the state.
Enugu House cries out
Meantime, the Enugu State House of Assembly, yesterday, cried out to relevant security agencies to quickly flush out rampaging Fulani herdsmen in Ukpabi,Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State if they had returned after theApril 25, slaughter of 46 natives.
A palpable fear has enveloped natives of the community following the alleged return of the herdsmen who masterminded the slaughter in a desperate bid to takeover the agrarian vast land of the community for pastoral grazing.
This followed the alarm raised by the Counsel to Nimbo community, Saidq Nwabueze, at the resumed hearing,last Monday, of the 17-man judicial panel of inquiry constituted by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State to among other things,unravel the remote causes of the incident and proffer solution that will forestall further herdsmen invasion of any community in the state.
While lamenting the alleged return of the herdsmen when the natives were still licking their wounds,the House,through its Spokesman,Paul Nnajiofor, described as too dangerous,the return of the herdsmen in the community while investigation into the gruesome slaughter was in place.
Nnajifor said,”this is too dangerous. The people are still nursing their wounds. The families of the bereaved have not buried their loved ones either. How can security agencies be watching these herdsmen return to that community after the decimation”.