The killings and kidnapping of citizens of Ebonyi State by herdsmen was raised on the floor of the Senate, on Wednesday, with a resolution asking the acting Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba, and other security agencies to conduct a thorough investigation and fish out the perpetrators for prosecution.
The Senate resolution was sequel to a motion brought before the Red Chamber by former Ebonyi State governor and Senator representing Ebonyi North, Sam Egwu.
Checks revealed that residents of certain local government areas in the Southeast state have been at the mercy of herdsmen who attacked villages, killing and destroying properties.
Senator Egwu in his motion, “Urgent need for the federal government’s intervention to end the serial killing of innocent and defenceless citizens in Ebonyi State by alleged herdsmen,” expressed concern over the killings of defenceless citizens which he noted were now a weekly occurrence in Ebonyi State.
Senator Egwu recalled that on the 30th day of March 2021, over 18 indigenes of Egedege, Obehi and Amuzu communities in the Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, including a priest, were gruesomely murdered in cold blood by rampaging herdsmen.
The former Minister of Education further informed the senate that, on Monday, the 12th day of April 2021, alleged herdsmen/Agila people again invaded Otuebu, Igidi Obu and Ndiagu Ibe-Agba villages in Umuogudu Akpu community, Ohaukwu LGA of Ebonyi State and gruesomely killed over 12 innocent indigenes, burnt/destroyed over 56 houses and kidnapped five persons.
Senator Egwu warned that “if the federal government does not intervene urgently, these wicked and senseless killings, kidnapping and destruction of property may continue, thereby subjecting Ebonyians and other citizens in Ebonyi state to severe hardship and terrific fear.”
Contributing to the motion, Senator representing Enugu North, Chukwuka Utazi called for the establishment of the inter-agency interface to seek measures to address the security challenges occasioned by the menace of rampaging herdsmen.
He said:” The most important part of our time spent here has always been about reportage of killings of our people in the hands of herdsmen.
“Mr President, this is becoming very worrisome, that in a country which is under the rule of law, issues of these nature keep repeating themselves on a daily basis.
“Mr President, I’m begging that, in order to solve this herder issue, we should make out time to have inter-agency meetings to sit down and see how we can return to these rules of engagement that can allow us to do business without let or hindrance. With that, I say, Mr President, that something urgent has to be done.”
Corroborating the scary security picture painted by his colleagues, the Senator representing Ebonyi South said the bloodletting now make residents live in fear of being attacked by herdsmen.
“As I’m talking to you, I got a call that nobody slept at Abakaliki in fear of the herdsmen attacking them last night because they got a signal that they were around. All of them ran into their houses.
“Mr President, not to say much, the motion as heavily moved by Senator Egwu is heart-beating. I support this motion wholeheartedly that something must be done to safeguard the lives of the people.
“Just less than three weeks over thirty-three people were killed by herdsmen; over seven hundred people killed by communal clashes between Benue, Effium and Ezza – which is part of Benue and Ebonyi.”
Aside from the resolution mandating the IGP to unravel the killers, the Senate condemned the attacks on the affected Communities while it equally observed a minute silence in honour of those killed.
While advising the federal government and Ebonyi state government to seek proactive steps to prevent future attacks, the Senate mandated the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately intervene through the provision of relief materials to the families of the victims and displaced persons in affected communities.
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