10th August, 2016
Eke Town Union in Udi Local Government Area of Enugu State has decried the increasing rate of divorce occasioned by alleged rape from suspected herdsmen.
Mr. Anthony Enu, the town union’s President-General, spoke about the issue when he testified before the commission of inquiry into the killing of people in Nimbo community on Monday.
Enu said that the situation had become scandalous because no man would take in a woman who had been messed up by suspected herdsmen.
“The herdsmen are consistently raping our women and daughters infecting them with serious diseases thereby causing indirect divorce in our communities,” he said.
“If my wife is messed up by the herdsmen, why should I take her in again? This will mean that what is holding her will hold me.”
Enu said communities in the area have had their fair share of attack by the cattle breeders, adding that no fewer than 10 people had died as a result.
Enu also recounted how three residents of Ogui village, Iloafonsi Ofokansi, Aniago Egbo and Josephat Maduweke, were killed in cold blood by suspected herdsmen in 2002.
He said, “Mr. Isreal Eneje was working on his farm with his daughter when the cattle breeders took their animals to his farm. He protested and told them to go away and they ended up killing him.
“They have killed many of our people in the past and in each case we report to the police station at 9th Mile.
“The herdsmen are now assuming to be landlords and have been harassing our people. They should leave our communities in peace.”
Meanwhile, the Agu Umabor Town Union in Nsukka Local Government Area has opposed to the creation of grazing reserves in their area.
Mr. Livinus Odo, Secretary of the union, said this when he testified in the tribunal on their activities of the suspected herdsmen in the area.
Odoh appealed to the South-East caucus in the National Assembly to give a block opposition to the legitimisation of any form of the grazing bill.
“They should vacate our communities because we don’t have enough farmland not to talk of the one for grazing. The herdsmen have committed atrocities in our communities and it has been a difficult time for our people and we appeal to the government to save us from this menace,” he said.
He narrated the experience of one Nnabuike Odo, a commercial motorcyclist, who on May 10, 2016, was almost killed because he made a comment, which some herdsmen found offensive.
“They shot at him but he was so fortunate to escape their bullets,” Odo said.
“We have abandoned a particular road leading to our community because of them. My people have abandoned agriculture because of the herdsmen and we are helpless.”
Meanwhile, Justice Chukwuma Eneh, Chairman of the panel, has said that the commission would accommodate all complaints and forward same to the state government.
According to him, “We will accommodate your story in our report and see if the government will do something to help you.”