South-East attacks: HURIWA accuses security agents of shielding killer herdsmen

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Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria(HURIWA), on Saturday, condemned the fresh herdsmen invasion of communities in the Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State and the killing of innocent villagers by the killer herders.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, said the attacks were unprovoked and despicable and were becoming unbecoming in the South-East while military and security agencies continue to watch on without making efforts to halt the attacks, clamp down on the marauding Fulani herders and protect the indigenous community dwellers.

The group said rather than chasing after killer Fulani herdsmen committing atrocities in the South-East geopolitical zone, security agents simply sits back until communities are invaded and attacked before reacting belatedly just as not one single killer herdsmen has been successfully prosecuted for the crimes against humanity and the horrendous mass murders of rural farmers in the South East of Nigeria.

Recall that residents of Imama Ugbawka in Nkanu East and Umuhu Eha-Amufu in the Isi-Uzo LGA of Enugu were thrown to mourning following the killing of three persons by suspected herdsmen in separate attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday.

According to reports, the Fulani herders invaded a farmland and killed two labourers hired from Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, to cultivate crops on the farm, Eha-Amufu’s incident occurred on Wednesday at Agba-Esher.

Reacting, HURIWA’s Onwubiko said, “HURIWA condemns the Enugu invasion which is just one out of the several other attacks in the South East by armed Fulani terrorists. The attacks by the marauders are unprovoked and unwarranted and every person of good conscience should condemn these atrocious acts.

“It is worse that farmers in Enugu State like the other four states in the South-East cannot farm peacefully on the lands of their ancestors without the threat of being dislodged by intolerant and vicious Fulani cattle-rearers from the northern part of the country and from as farfetched as Chad who are permitted to come into Nigeria by the internal security chiefs who are all without exception of same Fulani and Islamic religious affiliations as the freelance armed Fulani terrorists. These killer herders have slaughtered, raped and kidnapped many Igbo farmers simply for cultivating the lands of Ndigbo. This is abominable and wholly condemnable.

“It is also condemnable that instead of going after these Fulani marauders whose stock in trade is bloodletting, security agents are culpable of permitting the intermittent attacks even after far-reaching mechanisms are put in place by the Enugu State governor to promote inter Ethnic and inter religious harmony in Enugu State.

“Also, the security agents have not been cooperative in the enforcement of the anti-open grazing ban unanimously put in place by the five South-East governors as part of measures to checkmate these attacks.

“HURIWA asserts that security agents are culpable in these ferocious attacks in Igboland by blood-thirsty Fulani herders. HURIWA challenges the Nigerian Army, the Nigeria Police Force, and others to prove it wrong by coming on the top of their game to stop these unprovoked aggression and attacks against communities.

“It is unfathomable that despite every comprehensive effort by the government of Enugu State to accommodate northerners in the governance of the state at some levels and efforts made to promote inter-ethnic harmony, these ragtag Fulani elements continue to act savagely and cruelly just as the General Officer Commanding 82 Division of the Nigeria Army seems unconcerned and not bothered to prevent terrorist attacks in the South East of Nigeria.

“The Army, Police and other security agents must know that its primary duty is the protection of lives and property and should do so fast. Northern governors should also condemn the invasion of these Fulani elements because silence aids and abets criminality just as everything humanly possible must be done to eliminate the chances of any violent invasion of farming communities by freelance armed terrorists in order to sustain the inter communal peace, Ethno-religious agenda of sustainable peace and human development put in place by the very proactive governor of Enugu State Right Honourable Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi renown for his support for the armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for the protection of National Security”.

Emmanuel Onwubiko
April 16, 2022

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