By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU—TENSION and protest, yesterday, greeted the arrival and settlement of over 200 herdsmen and their cows at Agu Obodo, Obeagwu Ozalla in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The protesting community members said they were overwhelmed by over five trucks that off-loaded the herdsmen, their families and cows in the community and is asking the herdsmen to leave their land within three days as their people can no longer go to their farms.
President-General of Ozalla Development Union, ODU, Chief Afam Ani, who led the protesting women, youths and traditional rulers yesterday, said the herdsmen’s arrival, weekend, caused considerable anxiety and panic in the town, with his people living nearest to farm settlements abandoning their farms and dwellings and taking refuge in other parts of the town.
Ani narrated to newsmen that the herdsmen claimed they were evicted from their previous settlements at Maryland in Enugu South Local Government Area and decided to resettle in Ozalla.
He said they had informed security agencies, the local and state governments to help them evict the herdsmen, citing an ugly experience the community had with the herdsmen in 2012, when they attacked, raped and destroyed properties in the community.
The President-General disclosed that the herdsmen agreed to vacate the community within three days, but that he is pleading with the security agencies to help enforce the agreement.
A traditional ruler of one of the autonomous communities in Ozalla, Igwe C. O. Okafor, described the development as embarrassing, adding that they were not consulted by either the herdsmen or by any proxy before the invasion.