Ndubuisi Francis in Abuja
The Adada Progressive Union, a socio-cultural group of people of Nsukka extraction, has warned against the continued attacks by Fulani herdsmen across various communities in Enugu State and some other parts of the South-east.
The group warned that its patience in the face of series of bloody attacks on communities in Enugu State in recent times should not be misconstrued for cowardice.
In a statement signed by its National President, Ben Ugwu, and captioned “Attacks by Fulani herdsmen: Enough is Enough,” the group said it had watched with utter dismay “the spate of violent attacks and the attendant carnage on our people by a group of hoodlums identified as Fulani herdsmen.”
It recalled that the first major attack by “this group of blood-thirsty vermin on the Nimbo community in Uzo Uwani Local Government of Enugu State was on April 25, 2016. They pillaged the land and visited much savagery on scores of innocent citizens leaving in their trail an ocean of blood, tears and destruction.”
According to Adada Progressive Union, earlier in March, no fewer than 76 villagers from Ugwuneshi Autonomous Community, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State were arrested by soldiers while protesting peacefully against the destruction of their farmlands by Fulani herdsmen and their cattle.
“Only in the wee hours of last Thursday, August 25, another group of murderous herdsmen took their orgy of blood-letting to the sleepy community of Ndiagu, Attakwu, Akegbe-Ugwu in Nkanu-West Local Government Area of Enugu State where they slaughtered a Catholic Seminarian, Lazarus Nwafor.
“Four members of the Ogbodo Nwarum family, where Nwafor, the Seminarian, was a tenant, sustained severe machete cuts from the rampaging Fulani herdsmen who slit open the stomach of a six months pregnant woman, Nwarum in the operation.
“We decided to catalogue just a few of the many heinous crimes and atrocities that herdsmen sojourning in parts of Enugu State have visited on their host communities in the last six months alone. They have also left in their trail such atrocities in various parts of the South-east in the last few years.
“While these brazen, unprovoked and premeditated attacks on our innocent and harmless people are fast becoming a recurring decimal, the federal government, the police and other law enforcement agents appear to have given their tacit support, going by their inaction. The state government has also handled the undeserved annihilation of our people in their ancestral homes by Fulani herdsmen with kid gloves.
“We want to place on record that our people have turned the other cheek, and restrained themselves from reprisal actions each time the herdsmen struck not out of cowardice, but a resolve to sustain the fragile peace in the country. An adage says, that only a man with wounds knows that flies have teeth. The affliction has become unbearable.
“While we have continued to nurture the virtues of peace and restraint, we have come to the painful realisation that our peaceful disposition has been taken for granted, and has emboldened the herdsmen and their sponsors,” ” the statement added
“At this juncture, we want to say with all the emphasis at our disposal that enough is enough. We can no longer tolerate the excesses of Fulani herdsmen and their sympathisers.
“Adada Progressive Union wants to place on record that people of Adada ancestry, Enugu people and the Igbo ethnic nationality in general are not known to be cowards. We would not want to take laws into our hand, trying to defend ourselves while we have government, both at national and state in place,” the statement added.
The group urged the state governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to sit up and provide his people the much-needed security, and stem the activities of the marauding herdsmen and other forms of threat.
“The governors of the entire South-east states should urgently meet and fashion out appropriate strategies to tackle the herdsmen and their excesses.
“Posterity may not forgive the Igbos, especially leaders who sit by and watch their people murdered daily across the country, particularly in their ancestral homes. For the interest of peace, let this be enough is enough,” the statement concluded.