By Chinenyeh Ozor
Apprehension and confusion have engulfed Ukpabi Nimbo Community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State over the return of herdsmen to the community, four years after over 40 people were killed in an invasion of the community.
Dr. Akachukwu Clement, one of the Spokespersons of the community in an interview with Vanguard said the pathetic story of Nimbo in 2016 is still lingering as the herdsmen have returned to the community in their numbers,uprooting cassava plants, destroying farmlands and cash crops without interruption from any quarter of the community and security agencies, adding that the community is still licking the wounds of the 2016 massacre.
“Nimbo as a community is in peace under one umbrella but the influence of Fulani herdsmen is still around the community. We are still suffering the same ordeal. This time around, they uprooted cassava from farms to feed their cattle. We are being careful and trying to maintain peace. We have been appealing to our youths to be calm as we would not want the urgly situation of 2016 to repeat itself.
“We are appealing to the federal and state governments to take immediate and urgent measures to send these people away from our community. We are the source of food supply in Enugu and other numbering states and communities. We have fertile land up to Kogi and Benue States but we can’t trespass to the lands as the herdsmen have taken over all the places. We have resorted to prayers for God’s intervention to avert the repeat of the 2016 mayhem in Nimbo community.”
Dr Akachukwu said the herdsmen are everywhere destroying crops.
“Frankly speaking, the federal government made no input to the 2016 crisis in Nimbo. Infact, the Federal Ministry of Finance visited and made promises that would commensurate the wounds of the community but even a dime was not released to the community. The Federal Ministry of Finance came two times and assured the community of the things that would be sent to the community but uptill now, nothing has happened.
“But forget about the palliatives the ministry of finance promised. We are more interested in our security. The herdsmen are more in number than before. The herdsmen are right inside the villages parading with their cattle without fear.
“The police intervention camp at Nkpologwu approved by the former Inspector General of Police, IGP, Solomon Arase four years ago was to be inaugurated last two weeks but till now, internal politics wouldn’t allow it. I’ m part of the committee for the inauguration but stories going underground can’t be fathomed.
“The most important thing is to inaugurate the police intervention camp as the presence of the police would bring sanity to the community.”
Akachukwu said the current Enugu State commissioner of Police was to commission the intervention camp two weeks ago but nothing was done.
“Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has played some roles to show that he was in support of the commissioning of the intervention camp at Nkpologwu.
“We have been in psychological prison for four years now in our father’s land.It’s pathetic. The federal government as a matter of urgency and necessity should end the suffering of Nimbo people and commission the police intervention camp. We thank the Enugu State governor who is doing his best. He has helped the community in many ways and even promised to create more autonomous communities for people to be on their own for peace and security.
“After the 2016 massacre, Enugu State government donated N5 million; Anambra State government donated N3 million; and Senator Ike Ekweremadu donated N2 million. The promise to tar the link road to Kogi State is yet to be fulfilled. The federal Ministry of Finance told us to itemize five things in order of priority for palliatives and nothing has happened uptill today. Individuals helped us so much but everything ended in 2016 and 2017. The federal government promised us N25 million and uptill now, nothing was released to us.
The federal government can cite an agro-based industry in Nimbo to ease the suffering of the community. The community is made up of three clans that need to be autonomous which Governor Ugwuanyi said would be effective by this September 2020. Nimbo is still living in acute fear of the unknown from Fulani herdsmen.”