…says killer herdsmen must face justice
Umahi imposes curfew
Fish out culprits – Region’s senators task IG, security agencies
The heightened fear of a possible genocide on the people of the South-East geo-political zone resurfaced yesterday when the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), South-East Zone raised the alarm over the multiple and co-ordinated attacks on Enugu and Ebonyi states’ communities by killer herdsmen, which left about 25 persons dead.
The condemnation of the attacks by CAN emerged on the day the Senate’s South-East Caucus urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Mr. Mohammed Adamu and heads of other security agencies, to expeditiously fish out those responsible for the recent killing of natives in Ebonyi State communities.
However, CAN, in its reaction, described as “gruesome and unwarranted”, the murder of indigenes of communities in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State as well as Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu state by Fulani herdsmen.
They said the attack on Ebonyi communities came barely 24 hours after some natives were also reportedly murdered by Fulani herdsmen in Igga, Uzo- Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State. Rising from its emergency meeting in Enugu, the CAN South-East zone said it was stricken with grief over the senseless murder of defenceless villagers.
In a communiqué signed by the Chairman of CAN in South-East, Bishop Dr. Goddy Okafor, the Christian body said it received with rude shock the level of carnage in Ebonyi State “to the extent that human beings were slaughtered like chicken by persons whose identities were not hidden. The communiqué reads: “We are, indeed, in deep grief that the lives of innocent people were terminated in such a gruesome manner without any form of intervention from security agencies.
“This came at a time we were yet to recover from a similar report from Uzo- Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State. “We are drenched in tears and sorrow and that is why we are demanding that the perpetrators must be brought to book. We read in the media that Governo David Umahi of Ebonyi State says he knows those behind the dastardly act, so the government should go after them with every force of law to serve as a deterrent to others. “Wherever these people are, whoever they are, security agencies must fish them out and have them face the consequences of their actions.
These two incidents must not be swept under the carpet like previous ones.” CAN equally said the latest killings should serve as a wakeup call to the South- East governors as “it now appears that the zone is indeed under siege as no day passes by without one form of similar incident or the other.
“The governors should put politics aside and come up with collaborative strategies to safeguard the zone by checkmating the activities of these killer herders and bandits who are terrorizing the South-East zone.” “We are also telling the Federal Government that enough is enough!
Time of so much talk, little action should be over by now. Lives of Nigerians should not be treated with disdain anymore. The government should rise to the occasion and protect the citizens,” it demanded. Meanwhile, the leader of the Caucus and former Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu, described the killing as unfeeling, which must not go unsolved and unpunished like others before it. According to a statement issued by Uche Anichukwu, his Media Ad-viser, Ekweremadu said: “This act is most unfeeling and gruesome; and we condemn it in totality. But more importantly, this must not go unpunished like others before it.
“It is imperative to warn that the Nigerian state is fast delegitimising itself by its failure to discharge the primary purpose of government, which is security and welfare of the people, as clearly prescribed in Section 14 of the 1999 Constitution. “The widespread killings and all manner of violent crimes across the country have continued to worsen because the perpetrators walk away with their crimes, never arrested or brought to book.
“Therefore, this is particularly a call on the Inspector- General of Police and the heads of security agencies to bring the perpetrators of the Ebonyi killing to book expeditiously. “To do otherwise will amount to further loss of government’s exclusive power of coercion to nonstate actors and brigands, leaving citizens and constituent parts of the country with no option than to further resort to self-help,” they stated. The Caucus also condoled with the Government and people of Ebonyi State on the sad development. “We stand in sympathy and solidarity with the government and people of Ebonyi State over this dastardly incident and will give every necessary support to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book,” the statement concluded.