The Nimbo community in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State has urged the Federal Government to pay N17 billion to the community as compensation for the invasion of the community and the killing of residents by suspected herdsmen.
The traditional ruler of the community, John Akor, made the demand when he testified at the panel of inquiry into the attack on Wednesday.
He said that the money would be a recompense for the ills suffered by members of the community.
“Our community demands a compensation of N17 billion for human losses, unlawful destruction of property and criminal deprivation of use of our farms for over two decades,” he said.
The monarch said the community also needed a trauma hospital to rehabilitate victims of the prolonged herdsmen incursions.
Mr. Akor said that 11 people lost their lives during the April 25 invasion while several others were injured, adding that the corpses were still at the morgues.
“The conclusive evidence of deaths recorded during the incursion stands at 11. The economy of our community has been ruined.
“Part of our prayers is for a combined team of police, DSS and the military to investigate why the invasion was not contained in spite of prior information to the effect.
“We equally request the Federal Government to establish security presence in Nimbo, being a border community,” he said.
Mr. Akor said as a traditional ruler he never collected any form of gratification from the herdsmen to allow them graze in the community.
The traditional ruler said the economy of the rural community had been shattered following the activities of the herdsmen.
Also testifying, the president-general of Nimbo Town Union, Mathias Ekere, said the community had coexisted peacefully with the herdsmen for over 30 years.
Mr. Ekere said from the onset different cattle breeders resided in their community and local people insisted that each group must have identification mark.
“When the arrangement of cattle identification was not working, the herdsmen had to relocate but came back in 2003.
“After they returned, our relationship with them became like that of cat and mouse.
“Our people are always intimidated because the herdsmen came with sophisticated weapons, order farmers to kneel down and match their cows to graze on cash crops,” he said.
He said at their return, the herdsmen did not come with their wives and families, but entered the community through Kogi.
He said from their experiences, members of the community were still in fear and would no longer want herdsmen in the community.
“Our men were traumatised as our wives were raped in our presence.
“From our soured relationship, we do not want them again in our land. They should find another place to graze their cattle,” Mr. Ekere said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that prior to the commencement of the sitting, the Chief Legal Officer of the panel, Richard Udeichi, announced that the Fulani community would be present on June 27.
“The Fulani community informed me that they will come on June 27 due to their ongoing Ramadan,” Mr. Udeichi said.(Premium Times)