A group suspected to be Fulani herdsmen and collaborators from Agala community in Benue State on Sunday attacked Ebor community in Eha-Amufu, Isi-Uzo local government area of Enugu State.
The number of people that were killed during the latest attack cannot be readily ascertained.
The attack comes barely eight days after assailants attacked the community and killed 25 people at the last count. The attack forced residents of Mgbuji, Umujiovu and Ebor communities to flee their homes.
Subsequently, businesses were forced to shut down in Eha-Amufu, the third largest town in Enugu.
A security source lamented Sunday’s attack and the negligence of the state government to tackle the problem once and for all.
The source said: “These assailants have sacked over 40 villages and settlements. Now they are attacking the hometowns. This is the harvesting period and people have been forced out of their homes and communities and the government is paying lip service to this. These people are coming from communities in Benue State and the government is aware of it.
“The invaders who outnumbered the soldiers and vigilantes, launched another attack on Ebor community this early Sunday morning. I have seen bodies of less than 10 but I can’t give a specific figure right now.
“We are still in the bushes combing and searching for more people killed. What is happening here is unfortunate. It is exactly what they did to Benue State people. Probably they want to create a vast land joining Benue communities they had already sacked and call it their own land.”
“From the report I received, the armed herdsmen and their collaborators from Benue State communities launched the attack around 5:30 am to 6 am this morning. Before we got there, several people had been killed. We are few soldiers here and where we are based is a little bit far from the communities. There are no other security operatives from other security agencies here in Eha-Amufu except local vigilantes. They (vigilantes) first engaged them but the invading armed herdsmen outnumbered them,” the source added.
A community leader, who gave his name as Ogbuabor Samuel, confirmed the attack.
“As I am speaking to you, the invading armed herdsmen are still shooting. Several people have been killed. At least, we have recovered the bodies of 10 people killed. The chairman of Isi-Uzo local government is playing politics with our lives. He didn’t want to tell the governor the true facts of what is happening in these communities. He is not supporting the local vigilantes and other local security.
“A few weeks ago, he dissolved all the local vigilantes formed by Eha-Amufu communities yet he hardly visits the affected communities. We need the government to declare a state of emergency on security in Eha-Amufu – especially in Ebor, Umujiovu, Mgbuji and Agu-Amede communities. Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi should do something drastic. His government should stop politicising the situation in our place.
“They should stop fabricating stories that our people are collaborators. That is a fallacy and it diverts attention from the real issues. Agala people in Benue State have joined forces with armed Fulani herdsmen to continue to kill and destroy our people. That is the situation. Since these recent attacks started in October, we haven’t seen policemen here. You can only see the police if their commissioner is coming to witness the destruction and go back to Enugu to dish out false narratives. “Where are the tactical squads and operational assets of the police he told Nigerians through the media that he had deployed?
“We want to know, who are the security agencies in Enugu State protecting their interest? Could it be that the security chiefs in Enugu State are in the state to give cover to armed herdsmen?”
Meanwhile, the state police command has confirmed the recent attack but did not give the casualty figure.
The command’s spokesman, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, told journalists in Enugu that the “sketchy report at my disposal shows that there was an attack”.
“But the assailants were repelled by a joint police and army team that is currently trailing them,” he added.