Juliana Francis

Some travellers have narrated their horrifying encounters with men suspected to be herdsmen.

One of the travellers, Chukwuebuka from Anambra State, said that they were travelling to Anambra State when they encountered the men at a place called Umunneochie.

He said: “They ordered us to stop and we asked them why because some of them were in army uniform, others were in mufti. They had different guns.  We were ordered to lay down on the floor and before I could hide under the vehicle, I heard some passengers screaming Jesus! One of the men in uniform said, ‘that Jesus that will kill you now!’ We were all robbed. Thank God for the vigilante youth of Umunneochie that attacked them back before most of us could escape. You can see my head, the bullet only scratched me but they use the stick with them to beat me. We cannot explain who alerted them to come to our rescue because those Fulani people were asking us to enter the booth of their vehicle before those Nneochie youth appeared and saved us. They started exchanging bullets with the youth and that helped us to escape.”

Another traveller, Nwadieze from Okigwer local government in Imo State, said that he was heading to Anambra State to see his mother, when they ran into the men, who forcibly collected all his items, including the sum N80, 000, and his bag, with documents inside.

Nwadieze recounted: “As we are approaching the University area as if you are going to Nneato, we ran into the Fulani people. They used bullets to finish my vehicle and some passengers were hit by their bullets. Mine was just a scratch.”

Ms. Georgina Agubata, from Nneato, based in Umuahia said: “I wanted to quickly get to the village to do some kinds of stuff and dash back. Immediately after the spiritual University, people were telling me not to go, but I kept driving. Later, I saw the gunshot exchange that I was made to understand that the Fulani was outside. I started calling all the community leaders within this area that I know. I called someone from Ezeama who is a friend telling him what was going on along the highway and if he could reach out to the youth leader or vigilante to come to people’s aid. It was why I was still calling for help that the youths from this Nneochie appeared and the gun battle was much.”

Mr. Santos, another survivor of the deadly attack, said: “I thank God that mine injury was just a bullet scratch because sincerely, those men meant to kill us! We were on our way to the market when we ran into them. Some were in Army uniforms and the rest were in security uniforms. They all held sophisticated-looking guns. When our driver refused to stop, they shot at our vehicle’s tyre, bursting it. I must commend the youth of this Nneochie because of their intervention. If not for them, I wouldn’t be here narrating what happened to me. From what I observed today, if communities can equip their youth and the vigilantes, these herdsmen will disappear from the eastern part. As they were pushing us to enter the car booth that was when those youth appeared from nowhere. I want to advise that our Igbo leaders should arise and equip the youths in various regions and see if the Fulani will not leave the eastern part. We are yet to see our driver because he ran into the bush and as we speak he is nowhere to be found.”

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