As PMB visits Ebonyi over herders attack, Umahi demands funds to settle victims



President Muhammadu Buhari, on Sunday visited Ebonyi to condole those affected by the incident of herders' attacks in Egedegede Community in Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State last Monday.

Buhari being represented by the Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo expressed sadness over the unfortunate incident that affected four communities.

He described the incident as a senseless killings by the herdsmen, and however, assured that the Federal Government would stop at nothing to ensure that the perpetrators were fished out and made to face the wrath of law.

"Those who have been mercilessly massacred are  human beings like you and me who have hopes and aspirations but they are today dead because of the cowardly act of the herders who have lived with them for years, all of us condemn it and we say that this must not be allowed to happen again, let me assure you that we will seek justice on behalf of those who have been killed," he said.

He assured that the government would deploy more security personnel to the area to forestall the reoccurrence of such an attack.

Meanwhile, the Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi has appealed to the Federal Government to take drastic measures to checkmate the excesses of the herders, calling for the approval of State Police to enable the States to combat security breaches of similar magnitude.

Umahi also announced the activation of local vigilantes to provide internal security in parts of the State, warning that government may be unable to hold back the youth if such killings by the herders reoccur within the shores of the South East region.

He further appealed to the Federal Government to make funds available for the resettlement of those whose households and means of livelihood were affected by the attack.

"Your Excellency, we are touched and we are encouraged by this visit, am told the murderers left a telephone which contains their contacts, their call logs and pictures, Your Excellency, these things are enough to get these people apprehended, very shocking is that at the point of the attack, all the herdsmen living in Ishielu Local Government all deserted, this means that they were part of the attack on our people despite the Governors of the South East being called names because we are committed to giving them protection, it is very important we do anything possible to forestall further attacks not only in Ebonyi State but in the entire southeast," he said.

Earlier, the representative of the Egedegede Community, Professor Bernard Alumaode said at least fifteen persons lost their lives while about fifty houses, two cars and twenty-five motorcycles were burnt during the attack by the herders.

"We also appreciate your visit to sympathize with us on this unprovoked attack, killings and burning of houses and property, the people whose households were burnt have been displaced and have become homeless while the wives and children of those who died in the attack have become widows and fatherless, we want you to please take action because the deed was premeditated and we are not happy"

He appealed for the establishment of a Police Station within the area to restore normalcy.

It would be recalled that the attack which took place on 29th March 2021 affected Nkalaha, Obegu Amazu and Egedegede Communities in Ishielu Local Government Area.

The Vice-President also visited the Effium Community ravaged by intra-communal crises between Effium and Ezza Effium clans.

The Vice-President called on the warring parties to sheath their sword to pave way for assistance from Government and to further develop the area.

"Hundreds of people lost their lives, business and means of livelihood destroyed, Mr. President was particularly concerned about this, for the families of those who have lost their lives, you should please accept the condolences of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I want to say first to the leadership that the responsibility of leadership is to ensure that the people we lead do not die needless deaths, we must do something about peace in our Communities," he said.

Governor David Nweze Umahi while reporting that the State Government had made a concerted effort to nip the crisis in the burd warned political actors against making inflammatory utterances about the hostilities.

"We have done all that we could do to avert this crisis and sometimes, I even had to arrest all leaders from both sides and locked them up and for one week there were no crises but suddenly the war resumed, killing one-month-old babies, mothers and so on and I have directed that anyone found with a gun should be demobilized. We have requested NEMA to immediately move to this place to provide food, clothing and building materials. Let me publicly say that the politicians should stop making immflamatory statements about this crisis"

The leader of the Effium clan, Pastor Emmanuel Olor and leader of Ezza Clan in Effium, Dr. Joseph Utobo appealed to the Federal Government to collaborate with the State Government to assist them to resettle and facilitate the peace restoration initiatives underway. 

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