Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State has reacted to the killing of at least 25 persons in Egedegede community in the Ishielu Local Government Area of the state, saying that despite protecting Fulani herdsmen in the state and South-East region, they still killed people of Ebonyi.
Umahi, who visited the scene of the occurrence on Tuesday, stated that he knew the sponsors of the Fulani herdsmen’s killings, but would not disclose their identities yet.
The governor confirmed that AK-47-wielding herdsmen killed at least “15 persons” from the information he got.
SaharaReporters had learnt from residents that the attackers came in on Monday night to carry out the mass killings, which the police and the state government have repeatedly failed to curtail.
Reacting in an interview with newsman, Governor Umahi said, “We are in Ishielu where the AK-47 herdsmen came yesterday (Monday) and killed 15 of the members of this community. I remember a year ago that we had an incident of the killing of two herdsmen within this same location. And immediately, the security agencies and local government chairman and community leaders all came together to condemn the attack and killing and we immediately asked the security agencies to fish out the people who did.
“We fished them out and as we talk, they are standing trial in Ebonyi State. The community, government and security agencies appeased the herdsmen and made peace with them. And so, it is very shocking that overnight, all the herdsmen in Ishielu LGA vacated which means that the local herdsmen are part of the conspiracy of the killing of our people.
“They vacated despite all the efforts that my government and the governors of the South-East and security agencies have been making to give them full protection, not only in Ebonyi State but also in the South-East. We feel so sad, so worried for our country Nigeria and we are short of words.
“We have traces of the sponsors and the sponsors of those who came here. I will not disclose them.”
Egedegede is close to Enugu State boundary communities of Obegu, Amezu, Nkalaha and Eha-Amufu.
Sources at the Ebonyi State Police Command confirmed the killings, adding that operatives had been deployed.
Apart from Ishielu, Ohaukwu LGA has also been on fire, suffering from bloody communal clashes. Only on Saturday, unidentified gunmen attacked Nwekendiagu Village, in Effium, in Ohaukwu.
They invaded the village in the early hours of the day, killing at least 15 persons and burning over 200 houses, including a fuel station located in the area.