By Nwafor Okafor
Residents of Mmiata community in the Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra state have deserted their homes following attack by herdsmen on Wednesday night.
A community’s youth leader, Obinna Chigbata, who fled to Onitsha ,disclosed this to journalists on Thursday at a press conference.
He said the herdsmen mobilised and attacked the community because of people’s rejection of open grazing on their farmlands.
He said, “I’m a youth leader and sponsor of all the peace meetings between my people and the Fulani herdsmen.
“The crisis escalated when some elders of the community tried to use civil means to stop the Fulani herdsmen from destroying our crops and farmlands.
“Unfortunately the peace settlement did not work as they attacked us on Wednesday . They had earlier killed my father in similar attack in the past.
“As I am talking to you now my life is in a great danger because they are looking for me and many others in the community to kill.
“Since we have become targets of the herdsmen for opposing open grazing on our farmlands, we have no alternative than to desert the community; people are running away from their ancestoral homes.
“Some have suggested we employ the services of Eastern Security Network of IPOB, since the government security operatives are of no assistance to us as they have left us to die in the hands of the Fulani herdsmen.
When contacted, the state Police Public Relations Officer, Ikenga Tochukwu said,
“The command has not received such complaint. I will find out and get back to you.”
The Anambra State Governor, Willie Oniano,had in October, 2021 signed the state’s Anti- open grazing bill into law.