A civil society group, Intersociety has said that Enugu state is under siege by the Jihadist Herdsmen and that the state “is no longer in the hands of God”.
The group said in a statement on Thursday that the State, especially communities surrounding the State’s ancient capital city, had come under heavy and unchecked jihadist invasions by the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen.
The statement, signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, board chair and executives of the group, claimed that the principal officers of the Nigerian Army responsible for the Army’s touted “Operation Golden Dawn” in the Southeast have become totally deaf and dumb.
According to the group, the invasions of the Capital of Eastern Nigeria; also the Christian Capital of the East are coming few months after it was trended and widely streamed in the social media by some locals that “they saw a strange security helicopter dropping weapons of death to a group of persons with unknown tribal identities.”
Although the allegation has been controversially dismissed by security and political establishments in the State, Intersociety maintained that “Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen have since 10th November, 2022 or in the past two weeks invaded various parts of the state and ignited flames, fears, panics, blood and tears among the helpless Enugu communities and their defenseless rural dwellers leading to unspecified number of deaths and injuries.”
The group also stated that the ‘Four-Corner’ part of Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway, Ugwuogo-Nike-Opi Nsukka part of Enugu, Nsude part of Old Enugu-Onitsha Road and Eke-Ezeagu axis, etc have come under severe invasions and attacks by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen.
“Several communities in Ezeagu, Udi, Nkanu West, Nkanu East, Okpanku area of Ani-Nri, Uzo-Uwani, Isi-Uzo, Igbo-Eze North, Igbo-Eze South, Igbo-Etiti, Ngwo part of Enugu East, Enugu West, Oji River, etc have been invaded and attacked or come under serious threats of invasion and attack by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen; thereby thrown them into nightmare,” the statement said.
It further maintained that in the past two weeks under reference, over 20 or as many as 30 defenseless passengers had been abducted-with scores shot and critically injured, if not killed.
“On Tuesday, 15th November, 2022, at least three persons, who are indigenes/friends of Nsude in Udi were abducted by Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen dressed in military camouflage and armed with automatic rifles.
“The Jihadist abductors also covered their faces with Arabic textiles.
“As at three days ago, 21st November 2022, the abducted victims have not been freed and their friend’s car-owner is still on admission at a private hospital in Onitsha over gunshot wounds sustained while trying to escape with his car,” the group alleged.
The statement added that Eha-Amufu Community in Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of the State has been under bloody attack and butchery by the Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen.
“This is to the extent that since Monday, November 21, 2022, 20-25 defenseless locals-all Christians; have been slaughtered and several dwelling houses burned down or destroyed.
“Many of those communities under threats of invasion and attack have been sleeping with one eye closed, while several others, especially young women of non-menopausal age brackets have fled to avoid being raped to death or have their womanhood defiled or abused.
“The invasions, attacks, killings, human person degradations and property destructions in the affected communities have been perpetrated by the Jihadists with little or no counter responses from Army and Police; except in minutest cases by local vigilantes,” the statement added.
The statement read further that “soldiers of the Nigerian Army and various police crack squads have disappeared to only God knows where and their conjectured public statements and press conferences on “Biafra Matters” gone silent and dead.
The Jihadist siege at the ‘Four-Corner’, for instance, has been going on unchallenged despite the presence of six military checkpoints within a space of less than 5km. The same is the case with Ugwuogo-Nike-Opi-Nsukka Road.”
The group therefore called on the 11 governors of Edo, Delta, Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, Abia, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Bayelsa to go for 60% security chiefs from the East and immediate transfer of more than 20 senior military and police commanders of Muslim extraction to de-radicalize the jihadist group.
According to the group, except CPs of Anambra (Echeng Echeng), Rivers (Okon Effiong Okon) and Bayelsa (Ben Nebeolisa Okolo), the rest are non-Easterners mainly, if not mostly Northern Muslims.
Others who signed the statement include Obianuju Joy Igboeli Esquire; Head, Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Program, Chidinma Udegbunam, Head, Campaign and Publicity Department.
Below are the names of the officers in question:
Major Gen Aminu Chinade, GOC, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Maj-Gen Umar Musa, GOC 82 Division, Enugu, Brig-Gen Sani Suleiman, 34 Brigade Commander, Obinze, Brig-Gen Adegoke Adetuyi, 14 Brigade Commander, Ohafia, Brig Gen Abubakar Wase, Brig Commander, 2 Brigade, Uyo, Brig Gen Danlami Ndahi, Brig Commander, 4 Brigade, Benin, Col M.B. Abubakar, Commander, 302 Artillery, Onitsha, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, Air Officer Commanding Ground Tactical Command, Enugu, Rear Admiral Ibrahim Dewu, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Calabar; AIG Kamaldeen Kola Okunlola, Police AIG in charge of Zone 6 Calabar, AIG Abutu Yaro, AIG in charge of Zone 13 Awka, AIG Lawan Jimeta, AIG in charge of Zone 5 Benin, AIG I. Akinmoyede, AIG in charge of Zone 9 Umuahia, CP Mustapha Bala Mohammed, Commissioner of Police, Abia State, CP Ahmed Ammani, Commissioner of Police, Enugu State, CP Muhammed Ali, Commissioner of Police, Delta State, CP Mohammed Ahmed Barde, Commissioner of Police, Imo State, CP Aliyu Garba, Commissioner of Police, Ebonyi State, CP Sule Balarabe, Commissioner of Police, Cross River State, CP Olatoye Durosinmi, Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State and CP Mohammed Adamu Dankwara, Commissioner of Police, Edo State.
Such overhauls must also be extended to headships of Spy Police formations in the 11 states as well as principal officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force bases, artilleries, battalions and engineering regiments in Warri, Ogoja, Abakaliki, Enugu, Elele, Ogbaru, Owerre-Nta, Asa and Aba.