Residents of an Enugu community, Agu Obodo of Obeagwu Ozalla in Nkanu West Local Government Area, have protested the arrival of over 200 Fulani herdsmen and their cows in the area.
The panicky residents said they were overwhelmed by the arrival of over five trucks that were loaded with the herdsmen, their families and cows.
The residents urged the “strangers” to leave their land within three days because they could no longer go to their farms.
President-General of Ozalla Development Union (ODU), Chief Afam Ani, who led the protesting women, youths and traditional rulers, said the arrival of the herdsmen at the weekend caused serious anxiety among the people.
The community leader said residents living close to their farms abandoned them and took refuge in other parts of the town.
He told reporters that when the herdsmen were queried, they claimed to have been evicted from their previous settlement at Maryland in Enugu South Local Government Area and decided to resettle at Ozalla.
Ani said the residents had reported the matter to security agencies, the local and state governments to evict the herdsmen.
The community leader recalled what he called an ugly experience the community had with the herdsmen in 2012 when they allegedly attacked, raped and destroyed property.
He said: “There should be no doubt whatsoever that what we are faced with is the forcible invasion of our homeland by Fulani herdsmen who are likely armed with dangerous weapons. We consider this act to be extremely provocative and totally unacceptable to our people.”
The community leader said the herdsmen agreed to vacate the community within three days, adding that he had pleaded with security agencies to enforce the agreement.
A traditional ruler of one of the autonomous communities in Ozalla, Igwe C. O. Okafor, described the development as embarrassing.
The monarch said the herdsmen did not consult the community, either themselves or by proxy, before moving into the community.
He urged the government and security agencies to evict the herdsmen because of the security threat they posed to the community.