Again, Fulani Herdsmen Attack Isuikwuato, Kidnap 10, Kill Woman

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Emmanuel Ugwu-Nwogo in Umuahia

Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia State has again come under attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen who reportedly abducted 10 travellers and killed a woman after raping her.

The travellers, according to sources, had on Thursday evening boarded a vehicle at a motor park opposite the main campus of Abia State University Uturu (ABSU) and were heading towards Akara Junction when they ran into the trap set by the hoodlums.

Armed with dangerous weapons the bandits were said to have forced the vehicle to stop before they swooped on the passengers and marched them into the bush.

The latest along-the road abduction is the fourth kidnap incident by suspected Fulani herdsmen since February this year. In August two lecturers of ABSU were snatched along with other travellers by the same brand of criminals.

Like in the previous kidnap incidents the presence of four security checkpoints along the stretch of road between ABSU and Akara were manned by army, police and the local vigilante.

Though the criminals were said to have been later engaged in gun battle by soldiers at a military checkpoint close by, the kidnappers still held on and managed to escape with their victims.

The identities of the kidnapped travellers were yet to be established as the hoodlums have not made contacts with families of the people in their victims.

However, the woman raped and stabbed to death by the suspected Fulani herdsmen was said to be from Amagu Mbaugwu, Uturu in Isuikwuato.

Meanwhile the latest kidnap incident has generated angry reactions from some political leaders from Isuikwuato, who vehemently condemned the free reign of the brutal criminal gangs in the area.

The Chairman of Isuikwuato Local Government, Hon. Chima Agbaeze, lamented that the activities of Fulani herdsmen have remained unabated in the area despite efforts to checkmate them.

He expressed shock and surprise that bandits were able to successfully abduct travellers despite the various security checkpoints on the same road.

“It’s so annoying that I have four security checkpoints comprising the army, police and local vigilante on that road between Uturu and Isuikwuato, yet such a thing happened,” the council boss said.

In his reaction, the former chairman of Abia PDP, Senator Emma Nwaka lamented that “the rate of kidnapping along the ABSU/Isuikwuato Road is becoming quite outrageous.

“Yet we have four security check points on that short stretch of road. What is becoming obvious is that the criminals are always a step ahead of the security agencies.”

According to him, it has become obvious that “there’s no coordination of efforts among them (security agencies) and knowing that they’re stationary, the criminals choose a location away from where they are to carry out their nefarious activities.

“The way out of this deplorable situation in my opinion is to adopt a stop and search tactics in which case the security agents will be constantly on the move.

“Above all, the various agencies should have a means of contacting each other in a timely manner, possibly through walkie talkie, to mobilise assistance. Better still if they could resort to using unmarked vehicles,” he said.