Sixteen persons between the ages of 18 and 56 have been killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Obeagu community, Ishielu Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Narrating her experience during the incident on Monday, a survivor Ngozi Odoabuchi told PUNCH: “I went to Ishielu Local Government headquarters where I am working and after the close of work, I took motorcycle popularly known as okada from Nkalagu to my community, Obeagu. It was around 4.30pm.
“The okada man is from my community; so, he took me and one other person, a lady.
“We passed Egedegede Junction and between the village and the junction, we sighted about seven men in black clothes; three were going inside the bush while four were by the roadsides.
“On getting to the point, they stopped us and took us inside the bush. Inside the bush were about 10 to 15 others. Immediately, they started beating us black and blue. While they were beating two of us who were women, they stabbed the driver with a dagger and slaughtered him in our presence.
“After killing him, they started marching on our body. So, every motorcycle that comes, they will stop it, kill every male and burn the motorcycle.”
Mrs Odoabuchi, who said she prayed for God’s intervention, noted that while she was lying down with another girl, they (attackers) left, pursuing other people.
She said they (victims) immediately ran into the bush until Tuesday morning.
Ebonyi police spokesperson Loveth Odah said the police commissioner “delegated a team of policemen for an on-the-spot assessment because of peace talks going on in the town.”
Speaking on the incident, Governor David Umahi on Tuesday said: “I got very shocking news this afternoon about the attack on about four communities of Nkalaha, Obegu, Amaezu and Umuhuali in Ishielu Local Government Area of the state by herdsmen wielding AK-47 rifles. They came yesterday (Monday) and killed 15 members of these communities.
“Good enough, we have some traces of the sponsors; we have the traces of those who came here. I will not disclose it, but I am going to escalate the identities of the people to the highest authorities and we wait to see what they will do. But we condemn this attack; if it is allowed to go this way, it is capable of generating very serious civil war among the nation of Nigeria.”
“I want to demand from the security chiefs to fish out this people because they are well known; they should fish them out. Let them face the wrath of the law,” he added.