Fulani herdsmen’s attacks in Abia worry federal lawmaker

Fulani herdsmen’s attacks in Abia worry federal lawmaker

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A federal lawmaker, Uko Nkole, has warned that the continued attacks by suspected Fulani herdsmen on the people of Arochukwu/Ohafia federal constituency would endanger peace and aggravate security in the area.
Nkole, representing Arochukwu/Ohafia federal constituencyin the House of Representatives, gave the warning in an exclusive interview with The Point following a suspected Fulani herdsmen attack on Ndi Okereke Abam in Arochukwu Local Government Area of the state.
Six members of the community, who are now on danger list in hospital, had penultimate Friday sustained bullet wounds and machete cuts, when they confronted some herdsmen who were grazing their cattle on their rice farm.
Nkole stressed thatif such attacks were not curtailed, the herdsmen would aggravate security in the constituency, adding that this may result in a replay of the current situation obtaining in the North East zone of the country, where Boko Haram had been holding sway.
The lawmaker noted that the most disturbing aspect of the menace was the way the herdsmen usually resorted to verbal abuse and violence, when confronted by the owners of such farmlands being destroyed by their cattle.
He said that the impact of such destruction of farmlands could be very devastating to the people, who were mostly subsistence farmers facing other challenges such as lack of access roads, economic meltdown and other problems.
Expressing dismay at the attitude of security agencies when complaints about such attacks are made to them, the Peoples Democratic Party member appealed to them to wake up to their responsibilities before it was late.
Similarly, the PresidentGeneral of the town union, Chief Chukwuma Okubi, said that the matter had been made more painful by the harvesting of their cassava and yam by the herdsmen to feed their cattle.
He said the attack occurred when members of a family went to their farm for harvest and saw the herdsmen grazing cattle on their farm, but efforts to persuade them to move the cattle away fell on deaf ears.
Okubi maintained that sensing danger, the family ran back to the community and mobilised the youths to the farm, saying as soon as the youths arrived, the herdsmen attacked them.
He said that the timely arrival of the state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Leye Oyebade, who is also the chairman of the state Farmers/Herdsmen, leading other policemen and stakeholders saved the situation.
According to him, the visit of the Transition Committee Chairman of the council, Chief Ama Abraham, and his deputy, Prince Kingsley Ngunu, and other shareholders inthe area, also helped to douse the tension.
The state Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Nta Ogbonnaya Nta, who declined to confirm the number of casualties, confirmed the incident, saying it had been brought under control.

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