Eight people have been slaughtered after Fulani herders and agents of the Eastern Security Network had a rough conflict in the Adani region in the Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.
“It was the refusal of the Fulani herdsmen to disallow the wounded farmer from being rushed to hospital that triggered angry reactions from residents, who called the attention of some members of the Eastern Security Network, to the assault”_ a source said.
Newsmen learnt that the ESN operatives came to support the Igga community who were allegedly being attacked by rampaging Fulani herdsmen on their farms and in their houses.
It was learnt that the clash occurred on Sunday when the ESN operatives had a gun battle with the herdsmen who had infiltrated the community.
Eyewitnesses narrated that trouble started on Sunday when some Fulani herdsmen shot a member of the community on his farm and also blocked sympathisers from taking the victim to hospital.
“It was the refusal of the Fulani herdsmen to disallow the wounded farmer from being rushed to hospital that triggered angry reactions from residents, who called the attention of some members of the Eastern Security Network, to the assault.
“It led to a terrible, bloody showdown between the herders and the ESN. Eight persons were killed. I cannot say if they were herdsmen or villagers,” the source added.
Another source explained that while the herdsmen formed a barricade to prevent the young farmer from being rushed to hospital, the ESN operatives came on motorcycles and shot at the crowd of people barricading the injured farmer.
“After that episode played out, a mosque was also razed by angry youths in the community, leading many residents of Adani, an agrarian community, to flee the area to neighbouring communities in Nsukka and Igboetiti local government areas,” he said.
Some of the fleeing Adani residents explained that the ESN operatives were sighted by hunters and local vigilantes in bushes searching for Fulani herdsmen and their cattle – a situation which had led to tension in the area.
The residents noted that they feared the herdsmen might be planning to stage a reprisal.
It was learnt that the state Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Aliyu, and other top security operatives in the state had visited the community on Monday on a fact-finding mission.