the police in Enugu State have spoken about the recent attacks and killings of residents by suspected herders in Agu-Amede and Mgbuji, two communities in Eha-Amufu, Isi-Uzo Local Government Area of Enugu State, south-eastern Nigeria.
State police spokesman Daniel Ndukwe revealed this in a statement on Wednesday.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how the suspected herders, between Saturday and Tuesday, invaded communities killing many residents, injuring others and razing several houses.
Police spokesman Mr Ndukwe said the thugs killed nine residents of the Agu-Amede community on Monday.
“The remains of the victims have been deposited in the morgue for preservation and autopsy, after the doctors confirmed their death,” he said.
He said the gunmen also attacked Mgbuji, another community in the council area, but did not disclose the death toll during the attack on the community.
The police spokesman remained silent about the attacks that the alleged shepherds would have carried out between Saturday and Tuesday in the communities.
He said a security team made up of police officers and army soldiers has been deployed in the communities to prevent the incident from happening again and to track down the attackers.
“It will be recalled that this recent attack is a resurgence of persistent herder- and farmer-induced attacks that have, over time, occurred in the area, which generally shares boundaries with communities in Benue State,” he said.
He said that given the situation, the state police have initiated a “non-kinetic approach of engaging stakeholders” to find alternative ways to resolve the ongoing conflict.
Visit of heads of security agencies
Ndukwe, deputy superintendent of police, said state police commissioner Ahmed Ammani visited the two communities on Tuesday along with other security agencies to assess the security situation.
Ammani was represented by Olasoji Akinbayo, the deputy police commissioner in charge of operations in the state during the visit, Ndukwe said.
The Commander, Nigerian Army 82 Enugu Division Garrison Command, MK Ibrahim, Deputy Director of Operations, State Security Service, Isi-Uzo Council Area Chairman Obiora Obeagu, and a team of police officers and soldiers, were among the delegation. , according to the police spokesman.
Police Commissioner Mr. Ammani has ordered the police’s State Criminal Investigation Department to carry out an investigation into the attacks and killings in the communities, Mr. Ndukwe said.
Mr. Ammani condoled with the families and community members who lost loved ones in the attacks.
He urged them to remain calm and assist the police in the ongoing investigation and operations to “repress the attackers.”
Mgbuji and other neighboring communities in Eha-Amufu have been experiencing frequent attacks by suspected herders for some time.
Three people were killed by suspected pastors in the community in June.
In August, communities in the area and the Nigerian Miyetti Allah Breeders Association established a joint task force to provide security in the area and end the attacks. But the attacks have persisted.
The then State Police Commissioner, Abubakar Lawal, visited the area in June, along with senior officials from the State Security Service, the Nigerian Army and the Nigerian Air Force, among others, as part of efforts to end to attacks in the area.
The attacks have continued despite assurances from security agencies to “hit them decisively”.