Fulani herdsmen attack sparks outrage and street protests in Enugu

Fulani Herdsmen Cattle rustlers

Residents of Enugu State took to the streets on Wednesday to protest the massacre of residents of Ukpabi-Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani local government area of Enugu State by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The attack, which left scores dead, hundreds displaced and many others battling for survival at various hospitals, has remained a point of national discourse.

A group under the aegis of Concerned Citizens of Enugu State, moved to the streets, demanding an end to such barbaric acts.

The protesters, marched from New Market through Okpara Avenue, Holy Ghost Park, Edinburgh Street, to the State House of Assembly and ended at the Government House Enugu.

Some of the placards read: “stop the killings. No more human blood for cows, Ndigbo are part of humanity, stop the herdsmen massacre at Uzo-Uwani, stop killing Ndigbo, Fulani must go, stop the killing, Buhari sit up, Fulani must go, Ugwuanyi speak up, and operation stay alive, leave Igbos alone”.

The spokesman of the group, Dr. McGinger Ibeneme decried the incessant destruction of farmlands, killings, rape and kidnapping of people of the South-East geopolitical zone by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

Ibeneme, who spoke emotionally, lamented that “the crux of the matter is that every day people go to their sleep and Fulani cattle herdsmen will come and slaughter them.

“Just few days ago, over 200 people were massacred in their village in Uzo-Uwani. Nobody has said their crime, there has never been any arrest; if anything, the Awgu indigenes were arrested for chasing away the invaders. They had to bail themselves. Their women were raped, men being abducted.

“We have heard about a Catholic priest being abducted, we have heard about churches being burnt, we have heard about women being raped. Every single day, day-by-day lives are lost. The federal government has refused to say anything, the presidency has been quiet over the Fulani. Are cows worth more than our lives? Why are they killing us, is it a crime to be a Nigerian? We just want answers. When will the killings stop? Why hasn’t the president sent the army, why hasn’t the president deployed the intelligence?

“They call them hoodlums, who are the hoodlums? Do the hoodlums have an army, that they invade a village and kill in hundreds? Were the Nigerian police asleep? Has there been any arrests?

“My appeal to the people is to open their eyes, to be alert, to be vigilant, to protect themselves against the invaders as the government can no longer protect us. Its only a tree that will hear that it will die and it stays put. We are human beings; we have to shout for the whole world to hear us.

“The genocide is going on. There is a systematic killing of our people. After the massacre the government will now send the police to come and calm us down so that there will not be reprisals. We are dying in our numbers”.

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