Several residents of Ndiagu-Umunafor, Mburubu, in the Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu state have reportedly fled their homes for fear of attack by herdsmen.
VON learnt that there had been a similar attack on the residents in the past and the herdsmen reportedly possess dangerous weapons.
The Sun reports that the traditional ruler of the village, Igwe Emmanuel Eze, called on the government to quickly interfere in the issue as those left behind in the village are living in fear.
Eze said: “As it stands today our women are very scared to go to the farms because the herdsmen are fully armed. We have heard of the incidences of Agatu, Nimbo and Atakwu, it scares when you see a man who has already commandeered all the cattle into a farm that you newly cultivated and they are busy vandalising all the crops.”
Prince Lawrence Eze also said: “As we speak, they are almost in charge of our lands. This is like an affront on our people; it’s like declaring a war. We are not at war with anybody, but why destroying our farmlands?
“People can no longer sleep with their eyes closed because the herdsmen are moving with their guns in the evenings and at night. We are not war; we are not a conquered people; we are not slaves. We don’t want to go into confrontation with them because we don’t have the sophisticated weapons that they have, but one thing remains that we cannot run away from our ancestral home.”
However, the state government said the issue on ground is not threatening and that they have waded into the issue.
Speaking on behalf of the state government, Chairman Nkanu East Caretaker Committee, Chief Ikechukwu Obeagu, confirmed that there was an issue between the herdsmen and villagers of Mburubu just like in so many other places.
According to Obeagu: “It is true but it is not as if it is a threat. They are chasing Fulani people around and they are feeling they will come back for them but there is nothing like that.
“The Fulani herdsmen are also complaining that they killed 12 of their cows, they have to pay for the cows. That is why I am here, although I don’t see the truth in it. But we are here to resolve the problem and see how to compensate some people.”
But a community leader from the area, Chief Simon Aniobi, disagreed with the council chairman pointing out that there was a heavy shooting recently which forced the villagers to flee the farmland pointing out that four of those displaced are in his house.
Meanwhile, gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have attacked the Asso Community in Jemaa local government area of Southern Kaduna.
The attack occurred on Saturday, April 15, shortly after a peace and reconciliation meeting between the natives and the Fulani.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai extends his condolence to the victims and their families, while affirming that security operations are being ramped to rid the forest areas of the bandits.