CONTRARY to reports in some quarters, the leadership of Amalgamated Ngboejeogu Youth, ANY, in Ebonyi State, yesterday insisted that the assailants that caused havoc in four villages of Ngbo community of Ohaukwu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State were Fulani herdsmen.
In a statement signed by the group led by led by Prince Uche Ali Ega, President General, A.N.Y, Comrade Samuel Okpor, Secretary General, A.N.Y, Dr Joseph Elom, Ekwashi Community, Barr. Michael Odo Legal Adviser, A.N.Y and 13 others in Abakaliki, appreciated Ebonyi State Government for the deployment of Army and Police to the affected villages immediately the incident occurred and called on the Government to be more interested in protecting their lives than unveiling the identities of their killers.
The group insisted “that the Fulani herdsmen numbering over one hundred, armed to the teeth with most sophisticated weapons at the early hours of Monday 12th April, 2021 invaded, maimed and unleashed an unimaginable terror on the people of Ngboejeogu from the Umugadu Umuogudu Akpu axis.”
According to them: “That the gruesome attacks led to the horrific deaths of so many known citizens of Ngboejeogu; That whereas search is still being conducted in the affected areas to ascertain the level of damage and deaths recorded, over twelve (12) lacerated lifeless bodies have been recovered while the whereabouts of many persons are still unknown.
“That over fifty six (56) houses, yam bans, business places/shops were either burnt to ashes or utterly destroyed by the Fulani attackers. That the attacks mostly affected four villages in Umuogudu Akpu Community axis of Ngbo clan namely: Ebele Umugadu, Otuebu Umugadu, Ndiegu Ibe-Agba and Odebo.
“That the Fulanis were visibly sighted and heard by many survivors; that the language they spoke was no other than fulfulde, the Fulani known language and their looks (appearances) and modus operandi were still same with that of Fulanis. That phone calls made to the mobile phones belonging to some of the slain victims were received by the attackers who spoke fulfulde language with heavy Fulani accent; that we condemn in strong terms the barbaric acts of the heartless Fulani attackers.
“That while we acknowledge the presence of security Agencies who came to intervene on the ugly situation, we frown at any attempt by any individual, group or government to twist the story to serve any political and or economic interests.
“That we find it difficult to comprehend the interest it serves and the reason behind the hasty conclusion of the Ebonyi State Government in exonerating the Fulani herdsmen from perpetrating the brutality.
“If mere denial of involvement is enough criterion to determine who was involved in the horrendous act and who was not as postulated by the Ebonyi State Government via their Press Release on the 12th of April, 2021, we wish to ask, now that the Ado Local Government Area Chairman of Benue State has debunked the allegation of their involvement in the attack, can the Ebonyi State Government tell the world who attacked Ndu Ngbo on the 12th of April, 2021?
“That we were shocked that unlike the prompt action of government which included visitation, provision of relief materials, encouragement and consolation of affected persons before press statement in the case of Egedegede of Ishielu Local Government Area where the Fulanis also attacked recently, the State Government did not care to send any of its officials even if it’s a Technical Assistant, to visit the scene of the attacks in Ngbo, make an on-the-spot assessment of the terror before going to the press. We then ask, where, when and how did the government conduct the said investigation that led to the preliminary report and conclusion?
“That we are worried that the Press Release by the Ebonyi State Government was more interested in exonerating the Fulanis from any involvement in the horrendous attacks than painting the exact picture of what happened. Hence no mention was made of the many casualties recorded and multi million naira worth of property destroyed.
“We condemn in strong terms such government Press Release which tends to protect the Fulani herdsmen at the expense of its citizenry. We therefore pray the State Government to shun sentiment and wake up to its statutory responsibility of protecting lives and property of Ngbo nation and other citizenry. We equally appeal to good spirited individuals and corporate bodies to come to the aid of Ndu Ngbo particularly the affected areas of Umuogudu Akpu as they have lost all they have to the blood sucking Fulani marauders.”