Some suspected herdsmen on Thursday attacked Ndiagu Attakwu Community of Akegbe-Ugwu in Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State, killed a seminarian and injured four others, including a woman reported to be pregnant.
This is coming just days after the commission of inquiry into the killing by suspected fulani herdsmen in Nimbo community that left scores dead, submitted its interim report.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Emmanuel Ojukwu, who visited the community to assess the situation, said the attack took place in the early hours of Thursday.
Ojukwu commiserated with the families of the victims, the community and urged them to be calm.
“I sympathise with the family of the victims as well as the entire community over the incident,” he said.
He urged them not to panic as the police command in partnership with relevant stakeholders and the State Government had stepped into the incident.
Ojukwu said that anti-riot policemen, counter terrorism personnel and operatives of the homicide section of the State Criminal and Investigation Department had been deployed to the area to prevent any breakdown of law and order.
The commissioner also visited the injured persons at the Mother of Christ Hospital and Enugu State University of Science and Technology Teaching Hospital, Parklane.
He said that full scale investigations into the incident had commenced.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Chairman of Attakwu Autonomous Community, Ndubuisi Ogbodo said that the suspected herdsmen struck the community out of no justified provocation.
Ogbodo said that one Lazarus Nwankwo from Imo state, a final year student of Spiritan International School of Theology, was killed in the attack.
He said that a certain woman from the family of one Ogbodo Nwarum had on Wednesday tried to stop some cattle from grazing on her farm located at the back of her house.
“When the woman saw the cattle grazing on her farm, she sounded a gong which scared the cattle away from the premises.
The herdsmen got furious and challenged her on why she scared their cattle and threatened to come back for her.
The herdsmen later came back in the early hours of Thursday and invaded their compound during which the pregnant woman and three other members of her household were attacked with machete,” he said.
He said that the seminarian, who was a tenant in the compound, heard the shouts of the woman and her household and darted out to see what was happening but got killed.
Ogbodo said that the other four victims got deadly machete cuts and were critically ill and were receiving treatment in two hospitals.
Residents of the community who spoke on condition of anonymity blamed their ordeal on their traditional ruler who allegedly collected money from the herdsmen and gave them a portion of their land to settle.
They alleged that the traditional ruler was even given a contract by the herdsmen to grade the route leading to their settlement.
Reacting, the traditional ruler of the community, Greg Ugwu, said that he knew nothing of the settlement of the herdsmen in the community.
Ugwu said that the cattle breeders were already in the community before he was crowned as the traditional ruler, adding that he had no business with them.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has expressed shock at the attack.
Ugwuanyi, who rushed to the community on receipt of the report of the invasion of the community in the early hours of Thursday, said the government would no longer tolerate such barbaric attack on his people.
“Even though the police are still conducting investigations into the matter, I hasten to condemn this act as the government cannot tolerate the wanton destruction of lives anywhere in the state under any guise,” he said.