- Ugwuanyi parleys royal fathers, town union leaders
- S’East APC, CAN, others condemn murder of hapless villagers
Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
The Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, wednesday visited the Ukpabi, Nimbo community of Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area in Enugu State where scores of persons were on Monday massacred by suspected Fulani herdsmen to have an on-the-spot assessment of the situation, vowing to find a lasting solution to the problem posed by the activities of the herders.
Apparently to demonstrate police dismay to the challenge, the police chief immediately ordered the detention of a policeman, simply identified as Corporal Chukwu, who allegedly collaborated with the Fulani herdsmen during the killing of residents of the community. He directed that the policeman be detained and properly investigated assuring that once the allegations against him were confirmed, he would not only leave the police but would be prosecuted.
He also pledged the readiness of the police to do all in its powers to ensure that those involved in the gruesome murder of the villagers were arrested and prosecuted.
This came as the command remained deserted as schools, homes and public places remained shut down, two days after the incident.
The IG, who was accompanied during the visit by senator representing Enugu North senatorial zone, Chukwuka Utazi, assured the villagers that the police was on top of the situation adding that no policeman who collaborates with criminal elements to perpetrate crime would go unpunished. He said such person must be dismissed from the force.
“I am not happy about what has happened and that is why I have decided to come and have an on the spot assessment of the situation. I have been discussing with the senator from the area and others to enable us find lasting solution to the problem. I have been able to see what happened and we should be able to find solutions. I can assure Nigerians that nobody has the right to take the life of any other Nigerian and goes free with it. We are going to make sure that we catch them and prosecute them and we will create the enabling environment for peace. On our way here, we saw where we are trying to put a police station to increase Police visibility in this area.”
The police boss, who also visited the palace of the traditional ruler of the community, John Akor, advised the community to remain law abiding and vigilant, while commending their partnership with the Police that actually aborted the devastation of the environment.
Meanwhile, reactions have continued to trail the mayhem that took place in the community last Monday.
In its reaction, South-east Leadership Caucus of the All Progressives Congress (APC) condemned in very strong terms the sporadic wanton killings of innocent Nigerians and destruction of villages and farmlands by the “so called Fulani Herdsmen and the reprisals”.
In a statement issued by, Osita Okechukwu Spokesman, South-east leadership caucus of APC, the party noted that “it is painful that while the Federal Government of Nigeria is doing everything possible to contain the Boko Haram insurgency; another virus in the name of herdsmen is dislocating the security architecture of our dear country. Yesterday it was Agatu in Benue State, today it is Ukpabio Nimbo in Enugu State. It must stop.
On its part, the Christian Association of Nigeria, (CAN), yesterday expressed outrage over the incident, noting that the wanton destruction of lives and properties by the herdsmen could no longer be taken for granted.
Addressing journalists yesterday, secretary of the religious body in Enugu State, Apostle Dr. Joseph Ajujungwa, while expressing shock that security operatives could not nip the attack in the bud despite having prior information, Ajujungwa called on South-east communities to rise up and defend themselves.
“We are shocked and saddened over the level or carnage perpetrated by these Fulani herdsmen in Nimbo community. More painful is the fact that security agencies had ample time and opportunity but they looked the other way; in view of this, I am calling on the people of Enugu State and other South-east states to rise up and defend themselves because security operatives have failed”, he said.
Similarly, following his visit to Ukpabi Nimbo community to sympathise with the people of the area over the attack unleashed on them by suspected Fulani herdsmen, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, yesterday, summoned an emergency meeting with the traditional rulers, president-general of town unions and leaders of the neighborhood watch in all the communities in the state.
A reliable source disclosed that the meeting which is part of series of action plans of the state government to find a lasting solution to the menace of the Fulani herdsmen in the state is scheduled to hold on Monday, May 2, 2016 at old governor’s lodge, Enugu at 1p.m.
The source also revealed that the governor was determined to put an end to the inhuman acts of the herdsmen which have consumed the lives and property of innocent citizens of the state as well as threatened the peace and security of the state and the nation at large.
The governor also disclosed that when he got a security report on Sunday that the attack will take place in the community, he immediately summoned an emergency meeting of the State Security Council which met on Sunday night till the early hours of Monday, shortly before the herdsmen struck, regretting that the sad incident eventually occurred after all the assurances given to him by the security operatives that the attack will not happen.
The scheduled meeting, according to the source, is expected to map out the best strategy that would promote peace and end the attacks from the herdsmen.