Nigerian Army Arrests Youths in Enugu Communities Over Expulsion Of Herdsmen, Cattle

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Soldiers of the Nigerian Army have invaded and arrested youths in two communities in the Nkanu East and Nkanu West local government areas of Enugu State for allegedly attacking and sending away herdsmen and their cows from the areas.

The National Daily learned that there is uneasy calm in the Ekpoffo and Akpugo areas in Nkanu East and Nkanu West LGAs where the military personnel arrested the youths and are still combing for more arrests.

Villagers who spoke from their hiding on Thursday lamented that they could not find some of their relations and wards who were believed to have been “abducted” by the military personnel.

They feared that the continuous arrest might not be unconnected with the recent sacking of herdsmen who were terrorizing the area.

Some also believed that the invasion could be the directive of the Presidency to security agencies to hunt down Biafran agitators in the South-East region.

Community sources said the soldiers invaded Ekpoffo on Wednesday and whisked away some youths to unknown destinations.

A source said, “Soldiers numbering over 100 stormed Ekpoffo community in Nkanu East around 7.30 pm on Wednesday. They moved from place to place, ransacking houses. Before then, they had blocked major roads leading to the community before swooping on the residents.

“I don’t know how many people were abducted yesterday (Wednesday). They were looking for our youths, but many of them had run away.”

The source also noted that the soldiers returned on Thursday with policemen and personnel of the Department of State Services and blocked all access roads leading to the community.

Another community source said the soldiers also invaded Ndiagu- Akpugo community and razed some houses.

“They went to the house belonging to a man popularly known as Bebia at Ugwu-agba in Ndiagu-Akpugo. They didn’t see anyone, so the soldiers set the house ablaze.

“As I am speaking to you, our young men have run away and some members of the community are relocating to the state capital for fear for their lives,” he added.

The traditional ruler of Adamagu Akpawfu community, Igwe Christopher Nnamani, who resides in the Enugu metropolis, said he received several phone calls from his subjects informing him of the invasion.

“I am on my way to my palace; come there so I can see who I am speaking with. I won’t like to speak with someone I have not seen on the telephone,” he said.

The Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Enugu, Col. Abubakar Abdullahi, declined comment when contacted on the incident.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Daniel Ndukwe, when contacted on the telephone also declined comment.