Security agencies speak on frequent deadly attacks in Enugu

The Commissioner of Police in Enugu State, Ahmed Ammani, says police operatives will collaborate with other security agencies to track down hoodlums behind recent attacks and killings in Eha-Amufu communities in Isi-Uzo Council Area of the state.

Mr Ammani stated this on Thursday when he visited the communities alongside heads of various security agencies, according to a statement by the police spokesperson in the state, Daniel Ndukwe.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how suspected herders invaded communities in the council area between Wednesday and Thursday, killing residents and razing houses.

Mr Ndukwe said the heads of other security agencies who accompanied the police commissioner during the on-the-spot-assessment visit were the General Commanding Officer (GCO), 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, Enugu, M.K Ibrahim, the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of operations in the state, Olasoji Akinbayo, and the Deputy Commissioner of Police in-charge of State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Fidelis Ogarabe.

Others included the Chairman of the Council area, Obiora Obeagu, and senior police and military officers in the state.

The police spokesperson said an “unspecified number of persons” were killed during the attack in Umuhu, one of the communities in Eha-Amufu, Isi-Uzo Council Area of the state.

The police commissioner, Mr Ammani, commiserated with the families of those who were killed by the hoodlums in recent and previous attacks in the area.

The police commissioner assured residents of the community that the police would deploy “both kinetic and non-kinetic” measures to decisively deal with the rising insecurity in the area.

He enjoined the residents to remain law-abiding and cooperate with the joint security team in tracking down the attackers.

He also said he had ordered further deployment of operational and intelligence resources to the area and directed operatives from the SCID to “thoroughly” investigate the attacks.

“Harmonise ongoing investigations with other recent criminal incidents in the communities and come up with actionable findings,” the commissioner told the operatives.

No firearms in razed truck

A truck, which the suspected herders reportedly used to enter the community on Wednesday, was razed by local vigilante operatives who intercepted them in the community.

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Residents had said the truck, where the suspected herders reportedly hid under a tarpaulin ostensibly to avoid being noticed, was loaded with firearms.

But the police commissioner said preliminary investigations revealed that only “goods and travelers” were inside the truck during the attack, and not firearms.

He said the “rumour” was capable of creating panic as well as worsening the security situation in the area, just as he called on the peddlers of such “fake information” to desist from the act.

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Not the first time

Mgbuji and other neighbouring communities in Eha-Amufu have been experiencing frequent attacks by suspected herders for some time now.

About two weeks ago, suspected herders killed three persons in Agu-Amede, one of the communities in Eha-Amufu, in the council area.

Also, suspected herders, in November, again attacked the Agu-Amede Community and other neighbouring communities, killing many residents.

Following multiple attacks last month, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, through the Secretary to the Enugu State Government, Simon Ortuanya, asked heads of security agencies in the state to deploy more personnel to the affected communities to prevent further attacks.

The governor said the state government would meet with the leaders of the herders in the area “to decisively resolve” the issues causing the attacks.

Mr Ugwuanyi, subsequently, released N10 million for the immediate needs of victims who have been taking refuge in some internally displaced persons camps in the communities.

The then Commissioner of Police in the state, Abubakar Lawal, also visited the area in June, alongside top officials of the State Security Service, Nigerian Army and Nigerian Airforce, among others, as part of the efforts to end the attacks in the area.

Similarly, in August, communities in the area and Miyetti Allah Breeders Association of Nigeria, set up a joint task force to provide security in the area and bring the attacks to an end.

But the attacks have continued, despite the assurances by security agencies in the state as well as the governor.

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