By EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO
HOW on Earth will someone as educated as the sultan of Sokoto say that Foreign herders were behind the various attacks when the victims of such vicious attacks have clearer picture of who the attackers were?
What kind of crass insensitivity is this?
Are we so brainless that we keep tolerating these genocidal killings only to engage in some form of semantic debates that debases our humanity and rationality?
Why the question if indeed we have brains and why are we not doing something to stop the armed Fulani attacks and use lawful means to bring the perpetrators to Justice?
This question is necessary today because the press is again filled with the stories of planned armed Fulani attacks in the same Enugu State and with the benefit of hindsight the security forces are either compromised or are so incompetent to stop the attacks whenever these satanic forces decide to inflict their blood cuddling violence for the umpteenth time.
Worst still, no security chief would be punished for dereliction of duty and life will continue as if the dead were not once part of the living.
From Enugu comes two contradictory stories even as one of it was from the security forces saying no attack would be allowed but from the House of Assembly in Enugu State, the members who live amongst their people are warning that armed Fulani herdsmen have threatened to attack.
In the first of the two contradictory stories, the Security agencies in Enugu State comprising the police, the army and the Department State Services (SSS) have assured Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuany and the people of Aku Community in IgboEtiti Local Government Area that the security of lives and property in the area will be guaranteed.
The assurance, which came on the heels of a rumoured planned attack on the community following an alleged report of clash between the community and some herdsmen, was given by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Igbo-Etiti Police Division, Ifeanyi Nwoye, when the governor visited the community.
Nwoye said the security agencies were fully on ground in the area and mobilised to protect the lives and property of the people, allaying fears of any planned attack on the community.
Ugwuanyi was in the community upon receiving a distress call from a priest and principal of St. James Boys Secondary School, Aku, Rev. Fr. Patrick Ujah, over the rumored planned attack.
The principal, who received the governor at the school’s premises, commended him for his prompt response to his call, saying the gesture was an indication that he is a responsive leader who cares for his people.
Addressing the gathering, the security agencies urged the people not to panic over the rumor and go about their lawful businesses, stressing that they were on top of the situation.
“The people should not panic. You all have our phone numbers and should reach us if there is any suspicious activity or movement by any person or group of persons,” the DPO said.
On his part, the governor charged the security personnel in the area to be committed to their promise to secure the area and called on the people to remain law-abiding and cooperate with the security agencies to ensure peace and harmony in the area.
However, the Member representing Awgu North Constituency at the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Sunday Ude-Okoye, has cried out to well-meaning Nigerians to come to save people of Enugu state from Fulani herdsmen in systemic plan to wipe them out.
He said since security agencies that should protects the people only side the herdsmen whenever they attacked host communities, “we have no option than to beckons Nigerians to help us”.
Ude-Okoye who made the plea on the floor of the House recently, was reacting to recent attack carried out on Attakwu-Akegbe, Nkanu West Local Government of the state at which a seminarian and a woman were murdered and three others seriously injured.
The lawmaker who cast his mind back to the mayhem carried out on Ukpabi-Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of the state, lamented that the herdsmen have threatened to attack another community, Aku in Igbo-Etiti Local Government Area.
Afraid that if nothing is done and urgently, too, the state is under threat of extinction and pleaded with Nigerians to “come and help us.”
“I wish to condemn an act that has been going on by the Fulanis. I wish to stand here to condemn it. Let other Nigerians help us since the Nigerian Police cannot protect us but rather to protect the Fulanis.
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“There is no reason why they, the Fulani herdsmen, should come to our place to kill us,” he laments and opined that God would hear the cry of Enugu people someday.
Ude-Okoye who was sore displeased what the Fulani herdsmen have been doing in the state in recent time raping women, destroying farmlands, kidnapping and armed robbery among other things, called on all and sundry to come and help the helpless Enugu State before a more heinous act would be carried out.
Speaker of the House, Hon. Edward Uchenna Ubosi, who welcomed members to the House after over a month recess, presented to the legislators the new Clerk of the House, Barr. Dr. Emmanuel Udeagha who replaced the former Clerk, Mr. Christopher Chukwurah. Ubosi thanked the Acting Clerk, Nebo who held forte after the retirement of Chukwurah for the able way he performed.
The speaker promised to put smiles on the staff of the assembly in appreciation for how they have been a help to smooth working of the Assembly. You can see a speaker of a state legislature who seems lost as to how to respond to the distress calls of his people but is more interested in tge banality of welcoming the new clerk.
Do these legislators in Enugu State have brains?
My next question is to the Enugu State House of Assembly, it goes thus: do you have brains?
If the members of the Enugu State house of Assembly indeed have brains as Dr. Ben Carson wants us to believe, why then wouldn’t they pass a law to bring into being effective community vigilante guards to be drafted and equipped to secure their villages and towns to compliment the police and armed forces whose loyalty to their constitutional duty is questionable?
In part two of the Constitution, section 4(7) “the house of Assembly of a State shall have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the State or any part thereof.”
Once more let me use the mass media to appeal to stakeholders in Enugu and the governor to please set up functional Civilian-JTF to protect the communities. Enough of these attacks.
• Emmanuel Onwubiko is the Head of Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria and blogs @ www.emmanuelonwubiko.com and can be reached on [email protected]