The invasion started last Monday with residents deserting the area gradually due to the fear of killer herdsmen, who reportedly also raped some women in the community.
Operatives of the Eastern Security Network are currently mobilising into the forests of the Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, to force out Fulani herdsmen who have reportedly taken over people’s farms.
SaharaReporters learnt that despite the state governor, Nyesom Wike’s threats against the ESN and the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, the operatives moved into the forests to prevent the herdsmen from establishing settlements in the areas.
Since Saturday, there has been tension in Agbonchia community in the Eleme LGA after Fulani herdsmen invaded the area, destroying farmlands and assaulting the residents.
SaharaReporters had on Saturday reported that the invasion started last Monday with residents deserting the area gradually due to the fear of killer herdsmen, who reportedly also raped some women in the community.
Some of the residents had told SaharaReporters that a massive peaceful protest was carried out on Friday to bring the attention of the state and federal government to the community which is presently under herdsmen’s siege.
“Right now, farms in Agbonchia have been taken over by Fulani herdsmen. Our women are crying in the farms. To return home is almost impossible. Everyone is angry. We are protesting. This is not a fable. I am there now witnessing this assault.
“All the Agbonchia men and women both young and old have decided not to go to work on Friday. We are marching in our numbers to the Eleme Local Government Area headquarters to protest and ask the Fulani herdsmen to leave our land. We started marching since 8am,” a resident had explained.
On Saturday, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, and founder of ESN, Nnamdi Kanu, stated that he had directed the ESN operatives to wage a war against the Fulani herdsmen.
Kanu said, “In response to the cries and yearnings of our terrified mothers in Eleme Igweocha in Rivers State, I have this evening instructed the High Command of Eastern Security Network to move into the area forth and to rid the farmers of Fulani terror herdsmen.”
A source in the community said the forests were a no-go area at the moment, as residents had been asked to vacate the farms until the herdsmen had been cleared.
“In order not to be caught in the crossfire, we are avoiding the farms for now. When the Fulani have been sent away, everyone will return. Since the Rivers State government and the security agencies do not want to be responsible, we have no option but to rely on the ESN,” the source stated.