•Accuses security agents of deliberately allowing killer herdsmen to kill farmers in Enugu
•Ohanaeze Ndigbo condemns killings by Fulani herdsmen
•Police never mandated us to sign an undertaking to cede land, live with herdsmen, Mgbuji PG makes U-turn
By Anayo Okoli, Ikechukwu Odu & Chimaobi Nwaiwu
The Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, wondered why the Enugu State Government and the traditional rulers in the state have ignored the killings in the state, asking the state government where its forest guards and EbubeAgu officials are while people are being killed in the state.
IPOB also alleged that Nigerian security agents hunting for Eastern Security Network, ESN, operatives are deliberately watching killer herdsmen as they continue their killing spree across South East, warning that it will soon teach killer herdsmen slaughtering people in Enugu State in the language they will understand.
Similarly, Enugu State chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo has condemned the attack on Okpokwu-Mgbuji community in Isiuzo council by destructive Fulani herdsmen and warned that they would no longer tolerate the intentional decimation of lives.
In a related development, the President General of Mgbuji Town Union in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State, Mr. Chukwuma Ede, yesterday, denied the allegation making the rounds that the Divisional Police Officer in the council area mandated the community to sign an undertaking to cede land and live with suspected herdsmen before the corpses of their slain kinsmen would be released for burial.
A statement by IPOB’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, entitled, “Fulani killer herdsmen slaughtering farmers in Enugu State will be taught a lesson in the language they will understand.” alleged that the Army, Police and the Department of State Services, DSS are quick to use their bombs and tanks against IPOB and ESN, but look the other way when jihadists masquerading as herdsmen embark upon their pillage and massacre of innocent Biafrans.
IPOB therefore alleged that the attacks in Enugu communities are state-sponsored ethnic cleansing by Fulani’s against the Igbos and has once again exposed the hypocrisy of the Nigerian military, Police and other security agencies.
IPOB’s statement read in part: “The renewed barbaric and unprovoked attacks on different communities in Enugu State by terrorists masquerading as herdsmen have once again exposed the hypocrisy of the compromised Nigeria military, police and other security agencies supervising the ongoing ethnic cleansing of Biafrans.
“The same double-faced Nigerian security agencies hunting for the operatives of the Eastern Security Network ESN, are watching terrorist herdsmen as they continue their killing spree across Biafra land.
“Instead of halting these genocidal attacks against innocent Biafrans, the Nigerian security agencies take pleasure in hunting and killing our volunteers defending our ancestral land.
“The massacre of innocent Biafrans at Ehamufu in Enugu State, Wednesday morning unchallenged by the security agents is another confirmation of the criminal role of the security agencies in the evil agenda against the Igbos in Nigeria.
“The barbaric attacks on the hapless people of Eha-amufu and Ogbuji communities in Isi-uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State has proven that Nigerian soldiers’ singular agenda in Biafraland is to be distracting the ESN and IPOB, thereby creating the environment for criminal herdsmen to continue with their land-grabbing tendency and atrocities against Biafran communities.
“We, the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, therefore, want to remind the jihadists masquerading as herdsmen and their partners in crime that they won’t succeed in Biafra land as long as we exist. Our gallant men will again teach them in the only language they understand. We did it before and they attested to that, and we shall do it again.
“Since the Nigerian security agencies have chosen to provide cover for known terrorists killing law-abiding and innocent citizens, it has become an existential duty on IPOB to keep defending our ancestral land no matter the cost.
“The Army, Police, and DSS are quick to use their bombs and tanks against us, but look the other way when Fulani jihadists masquerading as herdsmen embark upon their pillage and massacre of innocent Biafrans.
“The Enugu State government and other politicians including traditional rulers have suddenly gone blind, deaf, and dumb over the killing of innocent citizens in the state.
“Where is their forest guard which was set up obviously to fight ESN? Where is their Ebube Agu which their masters compelled them to set up as a counterforce against ESN?
“Now that pregnant mothers are being killed, their stomach ripped open and the foetus ripped apart, where are politicians and stakeholders in the state, the chief security officer and all the security apparati set up?
“We don’t understand why most politicians and stakeholders are not protecting their citizens from Fulani terrorist attacks, the killer squad sent to eliminate our people. IPOB and ESN will not allow that to continue to happen. We are coming to display our might to terrorists herdsmen in every part of Biafra.”
IPOB also challenged the Nigerian security agents allegedly killing innocent Igbo youths and closing markets in the South East for their solidarity with its leader on his Court day to halt the Enugu killer herdsmen if they are not partial in security matters.
Ohanaeze condemns killings
Ohanaeze Enugu State, in a statement signed by its President, Prof. Fred Odo Eze and the Secretary, Malachy Chuma Ochie said: “The unwarranted invasion, wanton destruction of lives and property including farmlands by terrorist herdsmen; of Okpokwu-Mgbuji community in Isi-Uzo council of Enugu State is the latest in the long list of carnage, mayhem, premeditated but unprovoked attacks by herdsmen in various communities in Enugu State.
“This latest carnage, which occurred in the dead hours of Sunday, August 1, 2021 left 8 persons dead, including a pregnant woman; and several others still missing as at the time of this press release.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Enugu State, unequivocally condemns this attack on the peaceful Mgbuji Community. This deliberate mass murder by these marauding herdsmen cannot be justified by any stretch of the imagination.
“We, therefore, condemn this attack in its totality as barbaric, provocative and a clear assault on the accommodative spirit of Ndi-Enugu State.
“We can no longer tolerate the intentional decimation of our people by Fulani herdsmen or any other group for that matter; not today, tomorrow or ever.
“This must stop. We, therefore call on all the security agencies and other critical stakeholders in the state to urgently identify and bring the culprits to book.
“We wish to thank His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Dr. Ifeanyi Lawrence Ugwuanyi, for his prompt response to this security emergency; and his appeal for calm in the affected community and the entire Enugu State.
“We are aware that the governor has at various times reached out to the leadership of Miyetti Allah in Enugu State with appeals to rein-in their men so that we can all live in peace.
“Regrettably, despite these peace initiatives and engagements by the governor, we have had repeated cases of killings by Fulani herdsmen in Enugu State including Uzo-Uwani, Nkanu-East, Awgu, Udi and Enugu-East LGAs.
“We wish to warn that the peaceful disposition of the governor and indeed the people of Enugu State should not be taken for granted or interpreted as a sign of weakness as no one has the monopoly of violence. Enough is enough”.
Police never mandated us to sign an undertaking —Mgbuji PG
The President General, PG, who equally described the report making the rounds in the media that governments and police are not doing enough to contain the attacks on the community, as malicious and unfounded, said that the Enugu State Government and personnel of the Nigeria Police Force are working assiduously to bring the “incessant,” suspected herdsmen killings in the community under control.
He also said that the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Ndatsu Aliyu, in the company of other sister security agencies in the state visited the scene of the incident on Tuesday for an on-the-spot assessment of the level of damages on the community, and has ordered an investigation to find out the immediate and remote causes of the herdsmen attacks on the community.
He said: “An incident happened in my community on Sunday afternoon and eight persons were confirmed gruesomely murdered by suspected Fulani herdsmen. It is a painful experience to my community.
“The incident was reported to the police the day it happened and police swung into action. The Divisional Police Officer at Ikem, Isi-Uzo Local Government Area, together with the Area Commander, Udenu Area Command, and some other policemen were there on Monday to evacuate the corpses and carried out an on-the-spot assessment of the situation.
“On Tuesday, the Enugu State Commissioner of Police in the company of heads of security agencies in Enugu State (the DSS, the Army, Air Force, Civil Defence) were all there first thing in the morning to follow up on what the DPO and Area Commander had done the previous day. So, the police in Enugu are on top of the situation. They are doing an investigation into the matter. The Commissioner of Police had directed that discreet investigation be carried out to find out both the immediate and remote causes of incessant killings, particularly, in that farm settlement at Mgbuji.
“I wouldn’t know how the report that the police and Enugu State Government are not doing anything concerning the killings in my community came about. That report didn’t come from any member of my community because we appreciate what the police and the state government are doing to secure the community and to protect lives and property. The report is not only malicious, mischievous but unfounded.
“Let me also confirm that it is not true that the police, concerning the incident of 27th May 2021, that resulted in the killing of about five people in that particular area of Mgbuji, said that a portion of land must be ceded by the community to Fulani herdsmen before the corpses are released. That report is not true.
“What happened was that some procedures are required before the corpses could be released. I, personally, on behalf of the community, and immediate family members of the deceased persons did an application for the release of the corpses to the Commissioner of Police in Enugu State. The Commissioner directed that the application be processed and the processing has reached an advanced stage. It has got to the last stage for the corpses to be released.
So, the police didn’t at any point, whether directly or indirectly, demand or instruct that any land be ceded to the Fulani people for the corpses to be released. It is not true. That allegation is unfounded and a misrepresentation of fact.”
Efforts to get the southeast governors react to the development failed.