By Chimaobi Nwaiwu, Nnewi.
Over 15 victims of Fulani herdsmen attack of Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, currently taking refuge in their relations’ houses in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Tuesday, said that their attack would have been averted if the security agencies in the state did not take the threat to attack them, which came four days earlier with levity.
Addressing newsmen in Onitsha, Elder Okeja Paul, spokesman for the Nimbo villagers, who ran to Onitsha to take cover in their relations’ houses in the commercial city, said their attackers had written them through the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe John Akor, who quickly summoned a meeting of the town and mobilized security agents to wade off the attack.
He regretted that the security agents, from the police, National Security and Civil Defense Corps, NSCDC and other security agents were guarding the community until Monday morning when they left thinking that the threat was an empty one, only for their attackers to strike immediately they left.
Paul wondered why all of them had to leave at the same time, thereby creating opportunity for their attackers to strike.
Elder Okeja said that as early as 7am when their people went to their farms, over eleven people were already beheaded on their way to their farm, adding that they were shooting sporadically and matcheting other victims when they entered into the villages after they have cleared those they met in their farms.
“The security agents were nowhere to be found when they started killing people in the town, and it was later when about 30 to 40 corpses littered the town that the police and other security agents arrived and they took off, without any of them being arrested.
“A youth who just concluded his National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, who just returned to the town weekend was cut down in the attack, as I am speaking with you now, nobody is in the town now, as they escaped through our boundary with Kogi state.
“There is a river called Eshi River where we have boundary with Kogi State, that was where we suspect our attackers came in from and it was from there they escaped when the security agents arrived. Our worry is that the people were armed to the teeth with AK 47 and we keep wondering what Fulani herdsmen will be doing with such sophisticated guns if they are not being sponsored by some well placed people in the country,” he said.
Elder Okeja said “as at Monday another attack letter was received by Nkpologu community, a neighbouring town to Nimbo, where a Senator representing Enugu North Senatorial Zone, Chief Chuka Utazi came from, and warned that such letter should not be treated with levity by the security agents like they did to that of Nimbo community that have lost about 40 people to the attack.”
He however, urged the Federal Government and Enugu state government to provide adequate security to towns that have common boundary with Northern States, adding that “the people attacking us may not only be Fulani herdsmen, but members of Boko Haram insurgents who want to hide under the pretest of Fulani herdsmen to penetrate into South East.
“Now they are using guns and machetes but in no distant time they will start throwing bombs and one can imagine the number of people they will kill, we have not seen any serious move by the Federal Government to address the problem, rather the people being attacked are those that are arrested and detained for being attacked by invaders,” he added. Vanguard