From Nweke Nweke, Awka
The traditional Prime Minister of OPI Community, Nsukka East Development Area of Enugu state, Ezeopi Vincent Ugwuanyi and the rest members of his family has allegedly relocated to the Enugu State Government House over yet another alleged inversion of OPI Agu Community by Fulani Herdsmen.
Revealing that over two thousand inhabitants of the area are now into hiding while some had fled the area, Ezeopi told the leaders of thoughts and other members of his community that the best thing to do was to vacate their homes to a better safe areas hence the government of Enugu State was yet to come up with lasting solution to the menace of the herdsmen constant attacks in their area.
According to reports, top stakeholders of the town that has also petitioned governor of Enugu state, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and the Enugu state police commissioner over the matter, warned that if nothing urgent was not done, the situation might generate crisis that may lead to bloodbath as well as break down of law and order.
Stating that their community does not want bloodshed, Ezeopi called on the President Mohammadu Buhari and Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi respectively to urgently come to their aid as this, according to the traditional ruler, would repose the confidence of the people who has abondaned their homes only to turn refugees in another man’ land back on the government.
In his own reaction, the traditional ruler of OPI Agu community, Igwe Pius Agbo regretted that the Fulani herdsmen has persitantly decided to be unleashing terror and mayhem on his subjects. Hae therefore appealed to the governor of Enugu State to come to the rescue of his community.
According to Igwe Pius Agbo; “Some of the residents who reported the matter to his palace alleged that the herdsmen and their cattle has destroyed their farm crops running into millions of naira, while some of the herdsmen harvested their cassava to feed their cattle and had also threatened to kill anybody who dare to challenge them.
Igwe Agbo went further to state that the peoples’ call for urgent government intervention was to avert a repeat of what happened at Nimbo in Uzo Uwani council area of the state some few months ago even as he used the opportunity to appeal to the youths of the community not to take laws into their hands but rather resort to dialogue.”
“ The community will continue to toe the part of peace but warned that their position to maintain peace and mutual co-existence with the Hausa- Fulani herdsmen should not be taken as weakness or for granted, adding that they will have no option than to defend themselves should their lives become unsafe as a result of invasion by the cattle rarers.
On his part, the former secretary to Enugu state government under military administration who dubbles as the traditional ruler of Ogbozalla Opi Community, Igwe Fabian Ogbebor, called for urgent government intervention, describing the situation as unacceptable, noting that the Nimbo attack by the Fulani herdsmen should be an eye opener to both the government and Security operatives of this country.
He said, his community will not resort to violence but regretted that the Fulani herdsmen in and around the community are becoming a source of worry to the people especial when they threat peoples’ lives with impunity and reckless abandon.
The royal father however recalled that the Hausa-Fulani herdsmen has a settlement at Idodio Eqwegbe ,a neighboring community where they have lived for over 20 years without any ranchor with his subjects.
He however maintained that the recent attack on the innocent people, particularly on the people of Enugu state calls for serious investigation and government intervention .
The representatives of Opi town Union, Mr Uche Agama and Dr M.O.D Abonyi thanked the royal fathers for their prompt intervention and necessary action with the promise to support and ensure that the situation does not get out of control.
They also used the opportunity to thank the governor of Enugu state for siting a centre for the National Open University at Opi High School billed to take off by September this year while assuring that all hands must be on deck to ensure a smooth take off of the project as scheduled