Following the bloody attack on the Ukpabi Nimbo, a community in the Uzo-Uwani area of Enugu State, by bloodthirsty Fulani herdsmen, residents, on Tuesday, blamed security forces for the attack, saying they failed to act despite credible intelligence before the attack.
The villagers expressed their grievance when the state governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, paid a visit to the community. They stated that they were abandoned to their fates by the security agencies even after providing the agencies with needful information.
Present also at the village was the General Officer Commanding, 82 Division, Enugu, Major General Attahiru Ibrahim, and the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State, Nwodibo Ekechukwu.
Speaking on behalf of the villagers, George Ajogu, said that the villagers were aware of the attack, saying that the attack could have been prevented if the security agencies had acted on the information given to them.
He further stated that more dead bodies were still being recovered in the bush even after more than 20 corpses were already found in the bushes.
Ajod said: “Had it been that security agencies responded appropriately, this would not have happened. They (Fulani herdsmen) did not take us unawares, we knew they were coming.”
“We are not happy; we have been crying for more than two weeks that our community is under threat. Now, over 20 people are dead.”
“We are still discovering corpses; we discovered one corpse this morning and so many corpses are still in the bush. We have been shouting and crying but the security agencies did not come to our aid; only one police patrol van comes to this community.”
“Because we lack security, the Fulani come here and tell us the land is theirs. They tell the farmers to kneel down and they rape the women in front of their husbands.”
The community leader stated that the village has been constantly attacked by the Fulani herdsmen due to its strategic location between Kogi and Enugu states.
He noted that the herdsmen, who are seeking to convert their farms to cattle grazing fields, might return to attack their people if government fails to act soon.
“Please don’t leave, if you leave now, they will return to attack us again. They (herdsmen) have been killing and raping our people for some time now.”
Speaking on the attack, the Caretaker Chairman, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area, Cornel Onwubuya, stated that: “We had a security report that this was going to happen and I convened a meeting with Fulani stakeholders in Enugu State.”
“Some Fulani leaders told us that the herdsmen were camped very close to our community. I informed the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State, who assured us that the attack would be stopped.”
“He (Commissioner of Police, Enugu) said he would get in touch with the Commissioner of Police in Kogi State to prevent the attack.”
“The information we got was credible but unfortunately, they still attacked us.”