By Vincent Ujumadu & Peter Okutu
Awka—TWO persons believed to be herdsmen have been killed at Umuoba-Anam in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State by yet to be identified persons, even as the state police command said six persons arrested over the incident were helping in the investigations.
The Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Samuel Okaula, said yesterday that the command had already deployed a large number of policemen to the area to maintain peace and to prevent reprisal attack.
South East leader of Cattle Breeders Association, otherwise known as (Miyetti-Allah), Alhaji Sadiq Gidado, told reporters in Awka that the incident took place at the area where the two men and others were grazing.
According to him, the herdsmen were at their grazing ground at Eziagulu-Otu community and later decided to go to Otuocha market to buy something, when they were allegedly abducted by some youths.
Gidado said the two persons had not been seen since the incident, adding that while their caps and shoes, which they took along with them to the place, had been recovered, their motorcycle had not been seen.
“If they were killed, all we want to see is their bodies and we will be satisfied. I don’t know why some people want to cause trouble after the peace accord we signed with the state government and security operatives in Anambra State,” Gidado said.
Victims’ relations speak
Sixty year-old father of one of the victims, Alhaji Bello Nuhu, who gave the name of his missing son as Musa Bello Nuhu (26), said he had been devastated by the sudden disappearance of his son, adding that he had not slept since the incident happened.
Nuhu said he had the feeling that his son had been killed since his shoes and cap were recovered. He also claimed that he equally saw blood stains at the scene of the incident.
He said: “I was in my house when I got a distress call and I rushed to the place and what I saw frightened me. I have been devastated and worried since then because my son was in charge of my cattle, which his other siblings cannot do.”
Also, 40-year-old Haruna Hassan, who is an elder brother to Adamu Haruna (32), the second victim, said his missing brother and himself were the ones taking care of their late father’s cattle.
He recalled that their father was killed in a similar manner some years ago at Uzo-Uwani in Enugu State, adding that he had been sad and frustrated since the incident.
Meanwhile, CP Okaula told reporters, yesterday, in Awka that the command was not taking the issue lightly, stressing that anybody found to be involved in the dastardly act would face the full weight of the law.
Though the police commissioner could not confirm whether the missing people were actually killed, he said the police command was still investigating what transpired in the community, adding that what the command was working on was a case of missing persons.
Herdsmen allegedly chop off boy’s ear
In a related development, there was outrage last week as two Fulani herdsmen allegedly used their swords to chop off one of the ears of a 19-year-old boy (names withheld) at Azuoagbagu village in Nkalagu, Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
The incident took place in the victim’s family rice farm in the area.
An eye witness revealed that the victim and his mother were busy harvesting their rice when the herdsmen reared their cattles into their farm.
“The boy shouted on them to remove their animals from their farm produce as the cows were already making a mess of their harvest. In anger, the cattle rearers drew their swords with the intention of beheading the boy but missed and chopped off the boy’s right ear.
“The victim’s mother, Mrs. Eucharia Otubo, who came in defence of her son also got a deep cut on her hands by the herdsmen.”
Vanguard gathered that when the victims raised alarm, youths in the area rounded up the herdsmen and as they made effort to carry out a mob action against the suspects, they were prevented by an immigration officer (names withheld) who had returned home for the holiday
As tension heightened in the area, men and officers attached to the Ishielu Police Division arrived the scene and promptly took the suspects to the station
It was, however, gathered that the herdsmen while in custody pleaded guilty to the crime but insisted that the actual suspect behind the act had fled before the arrival of the youths.
The herdsmen, according to report have helped in the arrest of 6 more suspects in connection with the dastardly act.