Herdsmen Attacks in Ebonyi: Umahi warns against another civil war

Governor David Nweze Umahi of Ebonyi State.

By James Nwakpa

Following the massacre of Ebonyi indigenes particularly in Egedegede community of Ishielu Local Government Area by the Fulani herdsmen, the State Governor, Engr. David Nweze Umahi has called on the federal government to act fast in addressing the problem of security challenges facing the nation in order to avert the outbreak of another civil war awaiting the country.

Governor Umahi who received the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Sunday at the invaded community, expressed worry that the assailants undermined the efforts of the state government in securing a peaceful atmosphere which the Hausa community including the Fulani people have being enjoying in the state.

"It is very shocking that at the point of the killings, all the herdsmen living in Ishielu Local Government who have been living very peacefully with us all vacated their locations which means that they are aware of the killings and it is very disheartening". 

"Your Excellency we have made all efforts to maintain peace between the herdsmen and the farmers in this state and by extension in South East. We have a platform, we have involved even the herdsmen in our local governance. There is no name we the governors of the South East were not been called; people called us cowards and all kinds of names because we know that there is a need for peace in this country; we know that one crisis in any part of this country can degenerate to a very serious civil war. We do not want another civil war in this country but it is in the hands of everybody" he stated.

He therefore warned against any further attack on the people of the state.

"We were told this afternoon that another set of calls are going to the herdsmen that are in Ebonyi that they should vacate because they want to attack again. Let me as a chief security officer say that there will be serious consequences if another attack happens in Ebonyi State because nobody will be able to hold the youths, nobody will be able to hold the people.  It is very important that we forestall any further attack not only in Ebonyi but in the entire South East and by extension the country. Please, do everything possible to forestall this since we know them.

The governor questioned the modus operandi of security agencies and also advocated for state policing while stressing his commitment to make use of local vigilante in strengthening the security of lives and properties in all parts of the state.

"My questions to the security agencies all over the countries are: are these people spirits? How do they move? Where do they move? In the afternoon we see road blocks especially in South East what happens at night. How would people travel and kidnap people at Kaduna State and travel them to Zamfara State. I believe that federal government should ask these questions. These people did not travel by foot many kilometres to come here to kill" he observed.

In his swift reaction, the Vice President of Nigeria, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo who condemned the attacks on the people, described the killings as very sad and unfortunate and consoled those whose beloved ones and valued properties were lost.

"At times when things like this happens; when people are killed, when incidents like this happens, you feel particularly outranged about what happened, the reason been that those who have been mercilessly massacred in this way are human beings like you and I who have hopes and aspirations. 

"Young ones, women, children, people who woke up in the morning expected to go to their normal daily businesses but they ended up been dead not because of anything they have done wrong but because of the cowardly and wicked acts of some other people who lived in the community with them. I want to say that it is a very deeply distressing thing, and I sympathize not just with the governor and the people of Ebonyi State but in particular the people of the communities that have been affected"

The Vice President promised to obtain justice for the people by carrying out thorough investigations on the matter and ensure that anybody who has hands in carrying out the dastardly acts would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

He promised to assist the families of the victims both financially and otherwise and to also beef up the security especially in the troubled areas so as to prevent future occurrence of such inhumane acts.

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