At least three residents of Mgbuji community in Eha-Amufu, Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State were confirmed dead after an attack by suspected herdsmen left many injured with houses and farm settlements razed, Thursday.
This came just few days after three personnel of the community’s Neighbourhood Watch group were killed by suspected kidnappers after abducting two members of the community, January 1st.
Some members of the community alleged that the actual numbers of casualties were still unknown as some members of the community were missing even as palpable fear could not allow them conduct thorough searches for their loved ones in the surrounding bushes for fear of another attack.
A member of the community, Eric Ebeh, who put the number of casualties since 2022 to over 10 persons, called on the government to establish army and police posts in the area to save the lives and properties of the residents.
Mr. Ebeh, who explained that the suspected Fulani herdsmen sacked over five farm settlements containing at least 1,000 farmers in the community, pleaded with the governments to establish Internally Displaced Persons, IDP camps and equally send relief materials to the affected farmers.
He further said that the attackers set both farms and residential buildings ablaze during the carnage.
A community leader, Moses Olinya, confirmed that the suspects invaded the community at about 1am and called for adequate security of lives and properties in the area, adding that there have been series of other attacks by kidnappers and other criminal elements.
Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Police Command, Abubakar Lawal, on Friday, led a team of heads of security agencies in the state to the troubled community for an on the-spot-assessment of the level of damages.
Though police report put the number of casualties from the latest attack at two, it assured that security agencies in the state have put adequate security measures on ground to forestall further occurrences.
Part of the police statement made available to Vanguard through the spokesperson of the state police command, Daniel Ndukwe, reads “…The tour enabled the Commissioner and the Security Chiefs to jointly assess, strategize and put in place immediate measures to avert further occurrence of the incidence and other heinous criminal acts, allegedly perpetrated by miscreants suspected to have intruded the area from border communities in Benue State.
” Meanwhile, on-the-spot assessment of damages caused by the assailants, who are alleged to have intruded and attacked traders at Orie Market in Ogbete-Mgbuji village on 06/01/2022 and also previously perpetrated acts of kidnapping and murder in other parts of Eha-Amufu community, revealed the murder of two unidentified persons, setting ablaze of a mini bus, motorcycles, shops and the destruction of goods at the market.
” To this end, the Commissioner, while describing the casualties and damages caused by the assailants as callous and unwarranted, has ordered the immediate deployment of Police Operatives to maintain the normalcy already restored in the area, launch a thorough investigation to ascertain the immediate and remotes causes of the incidents, and manhunt of the assailants.
“He assured the use of both kinetic and non-kinetic approaches to contain the situation while urging members of the community to remain law-abiding and support the Police and other Security Operatives deployed to the area.
“The CP and the team were joined in the tour by the Chairman of Isi-Uzo Local Government Area, Hon. Jacob Abonyi, and the President General of Mgbuji Community Development Union, Barr. Chukwuma Ede, as well as other leaders and local security personnel of the community.”