Women from four local governments in Enugu State numbering over twenty, on Tuesday, called on Enugu State Government to, with dispatch, stop Fulani herdsmen from molesting them or destroying their farm or in alternative send them away from the land.
Making the call, the women who represented the Anglican Diocese of Enugu North comprising Enugu North, Enugu East, Udi and Ezeagu lamented that the herdsmen rape women, kill both men and women while their herd destroy farmlands.
The women made the call when they undertook a peaceful demonstration that took them to the Enugu State House of Assembly.
Leader of the group, Mrs. Achogaonye Eze, said unless the herdsmen are stopped, their lives would be in a grave danger, because they arm themselves with sophisticated weapons making it impossible for the vigilante to confront them.
Eze, who is the wife of Bishop Sustenance Eze of Enugu North Anglican Diocese, pointed out that apart from raping women and killing people in the communities, the herdsmen also engaged in robbery and kidnapping and lamented that they were helpless, because they had complained to the law enforcement agencies to no avail.
She said that people were now afraid to go to the farm unless they were in groups for fear of rape or outright killing. She recounted their ordeal thus: “They have butchered two men who tried to confront them, they rape women and destroy their crops. They pretend to be selling bush meat and when you stop over to buy, their gang will come out of the bush and rob you of your belonging.
“They are now wielding AK-47 guns at villagers, who confront them and since the vigilante do not have such sophisticated weapons they withdraw. The Fulani herdsmen should be asked to vacate Enugu State for good. Our people are molested, the herdsmen feel that they own the land. If they are not called to order, they may rape your own wives.”
The demonstrating women carried placards that read, in part, “Fulani herdsmen kill our men with AK 47”; “All we are saying is, Fulani, leave our farmlands”; “They butchered two men at Eke”; “Stop robbing us on the highways”.
Addressing the women, the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, Hon. Edward Ubosi, represented by the Public Relations Officer, (PRO) of the House, Mr. Jonas Ugwuanyi, advised them to take it easy and eschew violence in demonstrating their anger.
“The issue is a grievous one, but I want to advise you to take things easy and channel your complaints to the law enforcement agencies,” he said.
He however said that the House would look into their case with a view to doing something to alleviate their plight (Daily Times)