The agrarian community of Umumbo in Ayamelum Local Government Area of Anambra State has cried out to Governor Willie Obiano to rescue them from attacks by Fulani herdsmen in the area.
They said they were raising the alarm to Obiano because they have been holding back their youths from going on rampage against the herdsmen for over a period of time, while the herdsmen are still busy unleashing terror on their people by allegedly raping their women and robbing law-abiding citizens.
The traditional ruler of Umumbo community, Igwe Simeon Ikechukwu Chidubem, who disclosed this during the inauguration of JOSAN Giant Rice Mills, a subsidiary of Joseph Agro Industries Limited, located in Umumbo, appealed to the governor to make haste and rescue the community before it is too late.
Chidubem gave an instance when the herdsmen waylaid a woman on her way to the farm, dispossessed her of her phone, huge sums of money that she just collected from a monthly group contribution and other personal effects and even wanted to rape her before they saw a motorcyclist coming in their direction and ran into the bush.
He also gave another instance of a commercial motorcyclist whom two herdsmen hired to convey them from Umumbo to Otuocha, and, on their way, they forcefully diverted him into the Igbariam bush path and dispossessed him of the motorcycle and other personal effects. He said they shot him and inflicted machete cuts on him before they fled, leaving him in a pool of blood until some Good Samaritans came to his rescue and rushed him to a nearby hospital, where he is currently responding to treatment.
The monarch disclosed that he had even summoned leaders of the Miyetti Allah in the South East to his palace at Umumbo to discuss the matter so as to find a lasting solution before the youths go on rampage.
The president-general of Umumbo Town Union, Chief Tony Nnaamah, in his address, appealed to Obiano to intervene and caution the herdsmen, to avoid bloody clashes with the youth of the community.
He lamented that the community, which is predominantly populated by farmers, usually watched helplessly as the herdsmen’s cattle eat up their growing crops without considering the plight of the farmers, warning that, if the trend continued, he might no longer guarantee the continued silence of the youths in the area.
Governor Obiano, in his response, appealed to them to exercise patience as the herdsmen were gradually leaving the East in batches, adding that, within record time, they would have all left with their cattle.
He, however, disclosed that a standing agreement between the state government and the herdsmen showed that any farm produce destroyed by the cattle would be paid for by the herdsmen, while any cattle killed would be paid for by the villagers.