Herdsmen Dare Police Chief, Destroys Coscharis’ Rice Farm
Information reaching 247ureports.com from sources in Anambra northern district indicates that the recent attack by Fulani herdsmen which resulted in the gruesome murder of a local youth [Atuanya] may have more folds than originally disclosed to the public.
According to investigation conducted by our correspondent, it was gathered that the community of Anaku in Ayamelum local government area may be under a grander siege under the Fulani militia who had settled in the area for over forty years and counting.
Prior to the shooting of Atuanya of Umuezeagu village by the Fulani herdsmen on December 20, 2017, the people of Anaku and the three villages that make up the town of Anaku had been experiencing growing tensions between them and the Fulani settlers. The Fulani settlers reportedly take their cows to the farms belonging to the villagers to destroy the rice farms and other crops. According to the President General of the town, Dr. Emeka Iloanya who spoke with 247ureports.com, the Fulani herdsmen have grown unwilling to heed the repeated pleas of the farmers. Instead, they have grown more brazen – and have begun to challenge the authorities of the town.
It was understood the death of Atuanya came as a result of Atuanya’s bravery to go to his farm to harvest his rice. Atuanya had completed the first round of harvesting and had taken the first batch of rice to his house. As he came back for the second batch, he met the Fulani ‘herdsmen’ and their cows armed with automatic rifles actively eating away from his rice heap. He demanded for the ‘herdsmen’ to step off his harvest. The ‘herdsmen’ descended on him and then shot him direct to the chest, he died instantly.
The ‘herdsmen’ then made away with the harvest.
As expected, the town was thrown into a turmoil. Atuanya, whose wife recently put to bed was reported to not be taking the news well. Her immediate community have placed her on 24hour suicide watch.
The youths, on their part, became mad and angry. According to a source, “the youths want to take matters into their hands to chase and kill the Fulani herdsmen”. The source adds that the youths have even began pointing accusatory fingers at the Monarch of the town, Igwe Oforkansi and the President General of the Anaku Progressive Union [APU], Dr. Iloanya – stating that both have become suspiciously too soft on the Fulani herdsmen issue. They accuse the Monarch and the President General of collecting money from the Fulani community and the Anambra State government – to soft pedal and/or downplay the need for retributive actions against the herdsmen.
Interestingly, owing the long standing tension, the President General had written the government of Anambra State thirteen  days before the attack. He wrote the letter on December 7, 2017 requesting for the state government to rescue the community from the threat of Fulani herdsmen. The letter was copied to the Divisional Police Officer of Ayamelum Division, Officer Clifford and the Town Monarch.
See letter below.
One of the executives of the town union revealed that the Divisional headquarters of the police in Ayamelum have run out of options on how to address the Fulani incursion into their community. The exco member indicates that the police have become afraid of the herdsmen. “Once they came to a rice farm and was harvesting rice and were bagging it when the police DPO was alerted and he arrived with his men – well armed. The herdsmen who were numbered only five  refused to move from the rice farm when the police officer ordered them out of the farm. What they did was to continue harvesting the rice. When the DPO and his men pulled out their weapons and aimed it at the 5 herdsmen, the herdsmen told them to shoot – and continued harvesting. The exhausted DPO and his men turned and walked away.” The exco member explained that the Fulani men are presently threatening Anaku people to vacate their homes. “The government is not helping us”.
He laments that it took the Fulani men’s attack on Coscharis’ farms for the federal security apparatus to visit the community – and to stage a presence at the community. “There are soldiers everywhere now in my community”.
The Fulani herdsmen had entered the rice farms belonging to Coscharis last week and proceeded to destroy large portions of rice plants.
247ureports.com contacted the Fulani community in the area. One of the leaders confirmed the killing incident while explaining that the incident has grown out of hand. He indicated that the new generation of Fulani herdsmen are not as ‘civilized’ and ‘tamed’ as the ones that came in previous years. “We the leaders cannot talk them out of killings without being killed ourselves”, he said while adding that the influence of illicit drugs have changed the dynamics. “During our time, when we first arrived Ayamelum, we enjoyed cordial relationship with the natives, now it’s different.”
Our correspondent gathers that the Obiano administration has weighed in decisively – and has offered financial assistance to the young widow of Atuanya. It initiated talks between the Fulani community and the Ayamelum community. The talks are presently on going.
But the threats of more killings remain.
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