The heads of security agencies in Enugu State on Friday visited the Mgbuji Eha-Amufu, Enugu community besieged by Fulani herdsmen days after an exclusive report by SaharaReporters.
SaharaReporters had reported that Fulani herdsmen killed five residents on Monday and Tuesday, and burnt hundreds of houses, sacking 14 farm settlements while over 3000 residents were displaced.
It had also reported that the police and military did not come when the residents were attacked but only came to carry corpses, and extort money from bereaved families before they could bury their loved ones.
However, following the SaharaReporters’ report, the state Commissioner of Police, CP Abubakar Lawal, alongside the State Director, Department of State Services (DSS), H. M. Daluwa; the Commander, 82 Division Garrison Command of the Nigerian Army Enugu, Brig. Gen. M. K. Ibrahim; Commander, 553 Services Base Group of the Nigerian Air Force Enugu, Air Commodore I. A. Taiwo, and other senior police officers visited the troubled community on Friday.
A statement by the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, titled: “Violent Attack In Mgbuji Eha-Amufu: CP Abubakar And Other Security Heads Visit Community”, said the visit was to ascertain and assess the security situation in the area, “alleged to have been caused by farmers and herders’ crises within farm settlements of the community, bordering Enugu and Benue states.”
He said that Abubakar, the Police Commissioner had used the visit to address and interact with the members of the community at Obibi-Mgbuji Village Square; and re-assured them of the police and other security agencies’ commitment to decisively tackle the violent attacks in the area.
Ndukwe quoted the Commissioner to have called on the members of the community to be vigilant, law-abiding and promptly volunteer useful information that would help the Security Operatives to contain activities of the assailants.
The statement partly reads, “The CP and entourage was received and guided by the Area Commander, Udenu Area Command, ACP Edwin Egwuekwe, and a team of Isi-Uzo Local Government Area leadership, led by the Vice Chairman, Mr. Ogechukwu Nnamani.
“It will be recalled that the yet-to-be identified assailants, on 13/06/2022, attacked and murdered three (3) male victims, at Ogbete-Mgbuji area of the community, who were confirmed dead by doctors and deposited in the mortuary for preservation and autopsy,” it reads.
Meanwhile, the community members told SaharaReporters on Friday that the Ikem Divisional Police Officer, Nwachukwu, used a backdoor channel to extort the bereaved families.
A community leader, who gave his name as Clement Odo, said that “after the report of SaharaReporters, the DPO Nwachukwu called the bereaved families that he took corpses of their relations to go and pay N70,000 for mortuary and N40,000 for autopsy.”
Odo, however, queried if there was any hospital in Nigeria that would collect N40,000 to conduct an autopsy for a dead body.