By Joshua Chibuzo Andrew, Owerri
Palpable tension is currently mounting in Agwa town in Oguta local government area of Imo State as persons suspected to be herdsmen have killed one Emeka Nnorom, an okada rider.
The incident, which happened last weekend followed a fresh invasion of the community by the suspects, who have occupied parts of the community.
The herdsmen were said to have been operating in some parts of the clan, particularly Umuekpu Village since the past four years, destroying their crops and economic trees, thereby subjecting the people to untold hardship.
A dependable source from the community, said that trouble started when the youths of the village saw the herders destroying their farm land with their cattle, and wanted to stop them, but the killer herdsmen continued.
“They rather engaged the youths in exchange of words. When the pressure was high, the herdsmen left the place and entered another direction, where they met an Okada man that was returning home, and macheted him to death.
“On hearing the sad news, the youths of the village, swiftly mobilized for a reprisal, but could not see the herders, as they ran away after killing the innocent man. They carried the body of their slain brother home and reported the matter to the police for investigation”, the villager told our correspondent.
According to the source, the herdsmen, who were said to have mobilized heavily, later stormed the village Sunday night, shooting sporadically.
He narrated, “Around 8pm today, the 21st day of May, 2023, the killer Fulani people had mobilized heavily and Stormed Umuekpu Community, shooting indiscriminately. Right now, they have occupied all the bushes and houses in Umuekpu Agwa, while the people have deserted the Village”
It could be recalled that the same group of herders, three years ago, murdered one Mr Ozoemele Iriaka, from the same village, without any reason. He was said to have been killed on his way to the farm.
Meanwhile, many individuals and groups, including the Agwa Central Union (ACU), have condemned the dastardly act in strong terms, describing it as unfortunate.
The people, who called on the Imo State government and security agencies to come to their rescue by intervening in the matter as quick as possible, said that the herdsmen should be forced out of the community to enable the people recover their farm land.