…It’s not herdsmen—Miyetti-Allah
…Fear of reprisal grips Hausa/Fulani community
By Dennis Agbo
ENUGU- A 67 years old woman, Mrs. Regina Mba has been allegedly raped and killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen at an Enugu suburb, Nchatacha-Nike in Enugu East local government area of Enugu state.
The incident brought about large protest by members of the community who brought the corps of the woman along Enugu-Abakaliki, blocked the highway, burning tyres and prevented vehicular movement.
The protest attracted a large number of security personnel, including the army, police, Air force, who immediately embarked on air surveillance until the crowd was dispersed and movement resumed.
President General of Nchatancha-Nike community, Mr. Kingsley Anike who spoke exclusively with Vanguard said “She (the deceased) went to farm yesterday (Wednesday) within the hours of 2pm and 6 in the evening, she was attacked. Later in the evening when we expected her home, she didn’t come back. We started searching for her throughout the night and this morning (Thursday), there was an expanded search team.
“It wasn’t really a distant farm, it is a nearby farm because people are not leaving far from the location, so we saw her corps lying dead and on getting there we saw her undies were torn apart, lying by the side, she sustained stabbing on her hands and at the back of her neck and she is dead already.
“We called the police who have visited the scene and took photo shots of the whole situation. The body has been deposited in the mortuary.”
Asked who they suspect as culprits, Anike said “Isn’t that obvious? The Fulani; There was this Fulani group with their cattle within that area that we know and when this thing happened, they moved out, they relocated. It couldn’t have been any other person; indigenes couldn’t just have attacked follow indigenes and an old woman for that matter in her late 60s.
“She is an old woman and it couldn’t have been any other person that can perpetuate that type of act from the same community. So we are sure it’s the Fulani and that’s the obvious fact there. If the police want, let them do their investigation and state the fact. We know what the country is and we pray that justice will take its course.”
Anike denied an allegation that the community had previous misunderstanding with the herdsmen.
Enugu state police command, through its spokesman, Ebere Amaraizu said the police received report of the incident and that the commissioner of police, Suleiman Balarabe has directed for a full scale investigations with a view to establishing what actually happened and persons involved and motives.
He however said the command advises members of the public to continue to be law abiding and avoid any thing that will truncate the existing peace and security in the state as security operatives will leave no stone unturned towards unmasking those behind the dastardly act.
Amaraizu also confirmed the corpse of the deceased woman has been deposited at the hospital mortuary of the annunciation hospital for autopsy.
Sources told Vanguard that the Hausa/Fulani community in the state is afraid of reprisal against them since the issue of alleged killing by herdsmen has in the recent time become common place in the state.
Chairman of Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN, in Enugu state, Alhaji Haruna Salleh however denied that the killing was perpetuated by herdsmen.
Salleh said “We have been searching since we got the news and there are ho headsmen men around there. It was not herdsmen that killed the woman.”