Suspected Fulani herdsmen, Thursday morning, attacked Ndiagu Attakwu community, in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, killed a seminarian of the Catholic Church and wounded several others.
The incident came barely four months after a similar attack on Nimbo community left several persons dead.
DAILY POST reports that the armed herdsmen stormed the community at about 2 a:m, and butchered every person in one of the compounds and escaped after alarm was raised.
The traditional ruler of the community, His Royal Highness, Igwe Greg Ugwu, who spoke to journalists on the incident, said he was shocked that such horror was visited on his people without any form of provocation.
“There was no issue at all between them and my people. The only thing I heard is that they entered into the heart of the community Wednesday afternoon and a woman sounded a gong, after which the cows scattered; they got the cows together and left only to return in the night”, he stated.
It was gathered that the herdsmen entered the residence of the victims by climbing through the roof.
“As soon as they got it, they started butchering the occupants; the seminarian died instantly; another person had her intestines ripped off; four of the victims are battling for survival as we speak”, a community source disclosed.
The seminarian, identified as Lazarus Nwafor, an indigene of Orlu in Imo State, was said to have returned from his Apostolic work on Wednesday afternoon.
Meanwhile, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who visited the community immediately has vowed to leave no stone unturned in order to bring the perpetrators to book.
Ugwuanyi spoke after visiting the Fulani settlement located at a valley in the community.
However, the governor and his entourage met a deserted camp, an indication that the herdsmen fled over night after the attack with all their properties.
Ugwuanyi later returned to the village square where he addressed enraged members of the community.
He said: “this morning, I received a report of an attack on Attakwu community by suspected Fulani herdsmen, during which one person, a seminarian was killed and four others injured; they are in the hospital at the moment.
“Even though the police have not conducted into the matter I hasten to condemn this act in the strongest terms and in its entirety as government will not tolerate wanton destruction of lives and properties anywhere in the State by any one or group under any guise whatsoever.
“I have already summoned the Fulani community and relevant security agencies this afternoon to review the situation and determine the appropriate action to be taken.
“It is indeed unfortunate that this is happening just few days after the commission of enquiry on Nimbo killings submitted an interim report and is about to complete its assignment.
“I wish to on behalf of the State Government sympathize with the family of the deceased and I assure them that government will do everything necessary to ensure that the culprits are brought to book.”
Speaking to journalists on the incident, the Catholic Bishop of Enugu Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Calistus Onaga described the incident as a provocation too many.
He said: “few weeks ago, both the clergy and the laity gathered and showed their anger over the activities of these Fulani herdsmen; we were able to calm people down; we said let us give government a chance; but you can see the climax, a student has just been butchered; it looks like we are being targeted every year, we are being attacked.
“The government should do something about this; it is very painful; it is very sad. This is not the way to do things; all of a sudden these people have assumed another effrontery, they have assumed another boldness, they have assumed another attitude.
“If they cannot live with us together, let them quietly go; this is our land, we cannot pack out of this place.
“We are pleading with all the security agencies to look into this because at a time, people may not hold their patience again, there may be free range of anger and violence.
“Of course we are not prone to violence but at a time we can really be stretched so much that we will have no option than to defend ourselves. Life has been lost and to replace it is impossible.
“So, we are really sad; we are really in pain and I need to really summon the courage to address the Catholic Faithful on what happened; how would I explain it?”
While lamenting the death of the seminarian, Bishop Onaga said, “Look at where they came and did these things; go there you will see butchering, blood everywhere. Their cow was not killed, they themselves were not touched; just that they scared away their cows in the day time.
“Why would they kill an innocent boy just at the peak of his vocation? I pray and hope that our people will be restrained from over reacting. It is so painful; when I got this news, I was totally dis-organized.”
DAILY POST reports that it is still a tensed atmosphere as efforts were being made to stop the youths from launching a reprisal attack.