Ishielu Killings: Oganihu Ebonyi Describes Herders Attack as Barbaric, Demands Immediate Ban on Open Grazing
Oganihu Ebonyi, a group of patriots pushing for the progress and sustainable development of Ebonyi State has condemned in the strongest terms the March 29 unprovoked attack on four Ishielu committees and killing of 15 Ebonyians by suspected herdsmen carrying AK-47.
They have also called on Governor David Umahi and the Ebonyi State House of Assembly to enact a legislation for an immediate prohibition of open grazing of cattle and other livestock in the entire state, within the next one week.
In a statement issued on behalf of the group by the Convener, Dr. Laz Eze and the Acting Publicity Secretary of the group, Engr. Chinedum Elekwachi, they described the attack as insensitive, barbaric, senseless and totally unacceptable. They also expressed concern over the failure of the government and security agents to prevent this tragedy despite the early signs and warnings by the group and other patriots.
“We had fears it may come to this given the havoc caused by the criminal herders in other parts of Nigeria. It may be recalled that we issued a statement on 20th October 2020 where we recommended actions for the Ebonyi State Government to take to make farming and Ebonyi communities safe. That was in response to the rampant atrocities, destruction of farms and raping of our women and girls across the state. We demanded a law against open grazing within one month but it was ignored. If we have such a law in place, it would have been more difficult for killers to come and kill Ebonyians under the guise of cattle rearing. Livestock business in Ebonyi State should be done in ranches”.
They further called on the state government to embrace the reality of fighting the rising insecurity in parts of the state and should not in any circumstance consider approving any land in the state for RUGA settlement, as has been reported in the media.
The group expressed optimism that the victims will get justice since the governor acknowledged that the government has “some traces” of the killers and their sponsors.
They also called on the governor to eschew partisan political considerations and demonstrate a strong political leadership in securing lives and protecting Ebonyians from existential threats. They declared support for any reasonable and sustainable actions the government may take in order to get justice, prevent future occurrences and achieve sustainable peace in the state.
Equally, Oganihu Ebonyi prayed for the repose of the peaceful souls of the deceased and as well called on the local and state government to provide succour and support to their families.