Amby Uneze in Owerri and Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
Governor of Imo State, Chief Rochas Okorocha and his counterpart in Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, have tasked President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene as a matter of urgency in the frequent killings in the South-east region by suspected Fulani herdsmen to forestall future occurrence, describing the recent killings in Enugu State as barbaric and unfortunate.
Okorocha spoke while addressing traditional rulers in the state to take absolute control of security in their various autonomous communities and to also ensure peaceful co-existence between their people and others living in their midst, adding that what the country needs at the moment is absolute peace.
The governor, however, appealed for calm on the part of both the Enugu people in particular and the South-east in general, expressing optimism that President Buhari would address the ‘unfortunate’ development.
Okorocha, while addressing the traditional rulers, condemned the attack in Enugu State, saying the news of the barbaric attack on the people of the state came as a big shock.
He sympathised with the families who lost their beloved ones and appealed for peace in the region, promising that the government within the region is on top of the matter.
Also, Governor Ikpeazu of Abia State and the royal fathers in the zone in their separate reactions yesterday called on President Buhari to take urgent action and bring to an end the menace of the terrorist Fulani herdsmen.
The Abia governor in a statement issued by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Godwin Adindu, condemned “the carnage and wanton destruction of human lives meted out to the defenceless people of Nimbo by the herdsmen and the excesses of the herdsmen across Nigeria.”
He warned that “the situation could degenerate into a national crisis if drastic measures are not taken by the federal government to the checkmate the rampage.
“The herdsmen’s audacious killings and sacking of communities and farmlands constitute another national security challenge and a huge threat to the peace and unity of the country,” Ikpezu said, adding that the trend is a time-bomb waiting to explode.
On his part, the Chairman of the South-east Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Eberechi Dick, who addressed journalists in Umuahia on the carnage at Nimbo, said the dangerous trend of blood letting by herdsmen constituted a very serious security challenge that needed urgent action by the federal government.
He said: “We have been very disturbed since Monday’s invasion of Ukpabi Nimbo community in Uzo Uwani local government of Enugu State and that is why I make bold to state that there is urgent need for President Muhammadu Buhari to curb this dangerous incident before it threatens our national unity.”
According to him, “We need to rise up to address this problem as it is capable of throwing the country into crisis. Nigeria as a country is currently grappling with many security issues and the herdsmen experience could compound an already bad situation.”The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in its reaction, said the menace of the marauding Fulani herdsmen and the security challenge they pose to the nation has come to confirm the prophesy of its detained leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.In a statement issued by IPOB head of media and publicity, Emma Powerful, the organisation recalled all the predictions made by Kanu in his radio broadcasts, warning about the security threat of the Fulani herdsdmen and their agenda of mass killings.
IPOB noted that the federal government headed by President Buhari has through their attitude to the carnage by herdsmen, shown that their agenda was only to take power and use it in dominating the rest of Nigeria.