The Police in Abia on Monday confirmed that suspected herdsmen armed with firearms attacked a community in the state and left scores of the indigenes critically wounded. The police spokesman, Ogbonnaya Nta, who confirmed the incident to newsmen, said that the command had commenced investigation. The attack occurred at Ndi Okereke Abam in Ovukwu Autonomous Community in Arochukwu LGA.
Narrating the incident to newsmen in Umuahia, the President-General of the community, Chukwuma Okubi, said that the incident took place in the afternoon. He said that six persons sustained bullet and machete wounds and were rushed to a hospital in the area for medical treatment. The president-general said the herdsmen invaded their farmlands and destroyed their crops.
Okubi, who described the act as ‘provocative,’ said that the cattle feasted on bags of rice, harvested by one of the victims.
“The plea by the farmer to the herdsmen to take the cattle away from the rice fell on deaf ears as they drew their machete and gave several cuts on the man.
“The cattle used to graze on grass in the past but this time, they were led into the farms which are our main source of livelihood,” he said.
Okubi said that it was the alarm raised by members of the man’s family, who escaped from the scene that drew the attention of the community.
He said that when the information got to the town, the youths mobilised and headed for the farmlands to ascertain the level of destruction and casualty.
“Unfortunately, as soon as the herdsmen saw the youths, they opened fire on them and inflicted machete cut on some of them,’’Okubi added.
He said that the timely intervention of the Commissioner of Police, Mr Leye Oyebade, and the Chairman, Farmers/Herdsmen Committee set up by the police, saved the situation from degenerating.