Herdsmen Massacre: Enugu People Protest In Abuja Say ‘Eha Amufu Is Bleeding’

By NewsBits

Over 200 indigenes of Eha-Amufu Autonomous Community in Isi-Uzo Local Government of Enugu State have protested the incessant killings of their people by suspected Fulani militia.

The protesters comprising men and women said hundreds of people living in Eha-Amufu have been killed in different attacks since 2021.The demonstrators were brandishing placards with inscriptions such as “PMB, Stop the massacre! Eha-Amufu is bleeding!”, “The life of Eha-Amufu people matter”,  “Stop the killings, PMB Save our community”, “End the ethnic cleansing”, “Our house and farmlands burnt and occupied by militia herders”, and “Eha-Amufu people are now killed daily.”

The leader of the protesters and chairman of the Eha-Amufu Peoples Forum, Dr. Casmir Ifeanyi, attributed the killings to the clandestine activities of some suspected armed herdsmen. Ifeanyi said the recent attacks commenced on December 7, 2020, when some unknown persons waylaid a truck on the Eha-Amufu-Nkalagu highway and killed the driver and passengers.

While calling on the President Muhammadu Buhari, to deploy soldiers to stop reprisal attacks, Ifeanyi alleged that after the truck incident, armed herdsmen attacked Eha-Amufu on December 8, 9, 18, and 19, killing people at sight and setting houses on fire.

He said: “We are utterly shocked and greatly distressed by the series of attacks on Eha-Amufu, which occurred first on December 8, and the continued massacre of our people en masse, 51 deaths in Mgbuji, and 22 in Abor, not sparing women or children; destroying our economic fortunes, displacing families, and subjecting us to intense fear.

“The general belief is that the attackers are Fulani militia that since mid-2021 has been on a killing spree in Abor, Agu-Amaede, and Mgbuji autonomous communities all in Eha-Amufu, and they are on a revenge mission over their killed cows allegedly killed in 2021 way before the truck incident.

“If the attacks are a reprisal, the assailants should stop and face the real issues. We believe that the attacks are tied to the past. The bloodletting is the handiwork of an insidious enemy in desperation, who have seen the ill-fated episode involving the truck passengers as good excuse and opportunity to slay Eha-Amufu people. We assert that the attacks are not unconnected to the land dispute between Eha-Amufu and some of her neighbours along the Benue border.

“We can see through it all that those behind the attacks are determined to wipe out the entire Eha-Amufu people. Past developments relating to the current happenings are instructive. It is important to note that the land feud between us and our Benue neighbours have been existing over time.

“The land dispute predated the civil war, and it was determined in favour of Eha-Amufu. The judgment can still be found in government archives. Not quite many years back, the dispute gave birth to twin issues, and Eha-Amufu is confronted by both. First has been the continuous encroachment of our Benue neighbours into our lands, using farming as an excuse. In these circumstances, intermittent quarrels and skirmishes are a constant.

“In the early parts of 2020, the Fulani group came as usual herders who visit seasonally to graze. Later, in about mid-2020, a confrontational variant of the Fulani group emerged and settled at the fringes of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation pipeline grounds by the Federal College of Education Eha-Amufu. Next, they engaged in attacking and killing largely farmers in the Eha-Amufu hinterlands. And then, finally, they moved and occupied the lands in contention.

“It is the settling on that land that triggers this Fulani group’s effrontery to contend that they are owners of Eha-Amufu from north to south, that is, from the Benue border to the heart of Eha-Amufu town, available records to the contrary notwithstanding. The group and their collaborators are indeed a source of grave tribulations to us the Eha-Amufu.

“They attack our people every now and again, and often times kidnap for ransom. Worried, Eha-Amufu elders recently approached leaders of the Fulani group with the intention to bargain for peace. Unfortunately, when the peace initiative failed due to bureaucratic interference from high quarters, kidnapping increased, and killings became rampant in our area as corpses were recovered almost daily.” he added.

Recall that Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has held several security meetings including meetings with Eha Amufu leaders on the road to peace. The Governor also held close talks with the IGP of police during his recent visit to Enugu after which the Governor vowed that the crisis must end.

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