Statement by His Excellency, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, on the attack on Nimbo Community by suspected Fulani herdsmen

By The Citizen

My Dear People of Enugu State,
Four days ago on Monday April 25, 2016 many of our brothers and

sisters in Nimbo in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of the state were

murdered in cold blood by suspected Fulani herdsmen who have been

grazing their cattle in that area for a while now.
May their souls rest in peace. Amen.
On Sunday, April 24, 2016, by 7 pm, the night before this carnage took

place, I got security information from Uzo-Uwani Local Government

Transition Chairman, Hon. Cornell Onwubuya that such an incident was

likely to take place in the state.
I immediately summoned a meeting of the State Security Council which

commenced by 10 pm.
The meeting was attended by the following:
1. Garrison Commander Brigadier General Olufemi Akinjobi who normally

represents the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 82 Division Nigerian

2. The Commissioner of Police, Mr. Nwodibo Ekechukwu

3. The State Director of Department State Security Services (DSS),

Mr. M. Abdul Malik
4. The State Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence

Corps, Mr. Lar Stephen
5. Representatives of the Nigerian Air force, Federal Road Safety

Corps and Nigerian Prison Services, who attended as observers.

From the side of government were, myself, the Governor, the Deputy

Governor, the Secretary to the State Government, the Chief of Staff,

the Chairman, State Traditional Rulers Council and the Honourable

Attorney General of the State.
In the meeting, we received assurances from the Commissioner of Police

that the Area Commander of SARS was on ground in Nimbo.

-That the Anti-Terrorism Unit was at Nimbo
– That he was in contact with the Kogi State Commissioner of Police

and reported suspected herdsmen grouping at Odolu in Kogi State

preparatory for an attack on Nimbo and Abbi communities

– That Police mobile force and conventional police were already

drafted to Nimbo and Abbi communities.
– That he was in touch with the Area Commander, ldah, ACP lkegwuonwu

and had linked him with the Area Commander, Nsukka, ACP lVlonday

Both men according to the CP reported that there were no traces of

suspected herdsmen in Nsukka or Idah.
-That he ordered the Area Commander, Nsukka to redeploy to Nimbo.

-That the Garrison Commander on his part assured the meeting that

Military was already deployed to Nimbo.
Let me state that the State Government provided logistics for these deployments.

After receiving these assurances of deployments to Nimbo, I felt quite

confident that we had done everything possible to forestall an attack

on Nimbo. I have deliberately narrated what transpired at the Security

Council meeting fully conscious of the provisions of the Nigerian

Constitution pertaining to my oath of office. I am doing this in due

discharge of my duties as Governor.
Sadly, in the early hours of Monday reports of this carnage reached

me. More disturbing was the report that the attack of innocent and

defenceless citizens were carried out at about 6 30 am.

Further reports available to me indicate that apart from the killing

and maiming of innocent and defenceless citizens of Nimbo a Church was

also burnt. Following this development, I engaged the security

agencies in order to
ensure that the Nimbo area was secured from further attacks that might

escalate the situation.
On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, I visited Nimbo in order to establish

firsthand the extent of carnage. My visit to Nimbo was revealing. I

came face to face with the wounded and bereaved. I saw burnt and

damaged personage of Christ Holy Church. I saw a traumatized community

in shock and despair. I saw a dead body. I wept. I wondered what has

become of our quest for a united, peaceful and prosperous nation. Our

first national anthem had a phrase which went thus: “though tribe and

tongue may differ, in brotherhood we stand.”
Only two weeks ago we gave a posthumous award to Alhaji Umaru Altine,

a Katsina born Muslim who was elected mayor of Enugu before the Civil

War, in the period  that Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was leader of the NCNC.

Now in less than three months, violent clashes have occurred in Enugu

State in Awgu, Nike, Abbi and Nimbo between suspected Fulani Herdsmen

and our people.
This situation cannot be allowed to continue.
For this reason, I sought audience with His Excellency, the President

and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.
Our discussions were frank and cordial.
I am very grateful to the President and Commander in Chief of the

Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari for his prompt and decisive reaction to

the incident in Nimbo.
The President came out with a clear and unmistakable condemnation of

this dastardly act and gave clear and definite directives to the

security agencies to fish out these criminals and bring them to

l have called you today not just to brief you on what has happened so

far but to discuss in depth with you on what we must all do to prevent

the occurrence of such incidents in the future.
So long as we are Nigerians, we cannot live in isolation but those who

come to Enugu must respect out values and not engage in such dastardly

act as we have witnessed recently.
I am at once, constituting a judicial commission of inquiry to

investigate the immediate and remote causes of all the violent

occurrences in the State associated with suspected Fulani Herdsmen and

recommend appropriate measures that will be put in place to prevent

future occurrence.
What happened between 6.30am and 7.30 am on Monday 25th April, 2016

despite assurances from the Security Agencies? Only the Security

Agencies can answer this question.
Finally, all security agencies in the State are hereby directed to

continue to ensure that lives and property of the people of the State

and all its residents are protected.
Thank you and God bless you.
Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi
Governor Enugu State