At least nine persons, including a pregnant woman whose foetus was removed, were on Sunday afternoon killed by suspected herdsmen who attacked Mgbuji community in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State.
A resident of the community, Eberechukwu Agbo, who put the figures of the dead at nine, said many others might die from injuries sustained during the attack.
Following this development, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has directed the 68 newly sworn-in development area administrators in the state to relocate to their areas to stem local security challenges in the state.
In Imo State, the return of violent and barbaric killings, particularly in the Orlu area of the state, has caused fear, apprehension and suspicion in the area, resulting in residents and leaders fleeing the community.
Also yesterday, the Imo State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, called on the Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodimma, to adopt a round-table approach to resolve the Orlu crises.
On the Enugu killings, it was learned that after the herdsmen allegedly killed the pregnant woman, they ripped open her stomach to remove her unborn baby which they also killed and placed on her dead mother.
Vanguard gathered that the armed herdsmen invaded the community through a border with Benue State community, attacking several farm settlers and other unlucky people caught in the farm, including those returning from a marriage ceremony.
While a source who pleaded for anonymity, said the attack came from members of a border community of Benue State who are in a boundary dispute with Mgbuji community, the Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Eha-Amufu, Rt. Rev. Daniel Nkemjika Olinya, dismissed the boundary dispute claim, insisting that herdsmen attacks had been on the increase in the area and entire state.
He also lamented that the state and local government authorities had not put enough measures in place to stop the marauders
The cleric equally stated that members of the community stopped personnel of the Nigeria Police Force who came on Monday to evacuate the corpses because they had not released corpses of victims earlier killed by herdsmen in the community for burial.
He said: “This is the third time the armed herdsmen are invading Mgbuji community this year, apart from indiscriminate kidnappings on which we have lost counts. Most of the time, they invade the community, kidnap and kill the victims. The last attack before this Sunday’s attack led to the death of six people. Five of them have not been buried and now they came again this time and killed eight persons.
“Some people said the rising attacks in the recent time could be linked to the eviction notice given to the herdsmen and other conditions of operation that are, perhaps, unacceptable to the herdsmen.
“For instance, some of the people who were kidnapped and released recently by the armed herdsmen stated that the herdsmen insisted that they would continue their criminal actions until IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, dropped his agitations for Biafra.”
Members of the community alleged that the police asked them to sign an undertaking to allocate land to herdsmen and equally agree to live with them before they could release the corpses of those killed during earlier attacks.
Our source also gathered that the attacks followed an eviction order on the herdsmen resident in the community by Mgbuji community due to the continued attacks, killings, and destruction of farms by the herdsmen.
All attempts to hear from the spokesperson of Enugu State Police Command, Daniel Ndukwe, at press time last night proved abortive as he refused to respond to telephone calls.