WORRIED by the space of criminal activities in the state, especially, the murderous activities of the rogue herdsmen roaming about in many communities in the state, Anambra State Government has taken steps to form Forest Guards. This was one of the security measures taken by the South East Governors last year when killer herdsmen were on the rampage, kidnapping and killing people, mainly Catholic priests. Since then, only Enugu State complied and set up Forest Guards, equipped with vehicles and motorcycles for them to go into the interior parts of the state and pass intelligence to appropriate security agencies. With recent reported increase in criminal activities in Anambra State, Governor Willy Obiano has decided to float the Forest Guards to help in providing security to the people. To this end, he has directed the Vigilantes, the President Generals of town unions and traditional ruler of each community “to work with their local government chairman to form forest guards and comb the nooks and crannies of their respective communities and local councils to fish out strangers.” On the strength of this directive, chairmen of the local councils have begun holding stakeholders meeting in their various areas to work out the modalities for actualising the governor’s directive. Recall that the Association of South East Town Union, ASETU, whose members are closer to the rural masses, has written to the governors of the zone to urgently cause their Houses of Assembly enact laws to protect the lives of Ndigbo. ASETU had lamented the recent influx of young men from the northern part of the country to the South East, directing every town union in the zone to be very vigilant and monitor every movement in their communities.
ASETU had in the letter told the governors that “in the south-east and in other parts of Nigeria, we have witnessed the killings and rape of our people by herdsmen that roam about the most interior parts of our villages. They are reported to enter into people’s farms and consume their produce. People are now afraid to farm in their interior farms in their ancestral land. This is close to being sacrilegious.” Ebonyi indigene killed Meantime, an indigene of Ezube-Amankpuma Village in Okawu community in Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi State, Mmaduabuchi, was yesterday reportedly killed by suspected herdsmen in the state. The victim’s body was found on Monday morning along Onu Enuka road, after Ukaba Development Centre. A motorcycle belonging to the deceased was also taken away by his killers. Vanguard learnt that the herdsmen who were asked to leave the area by the villagers, allegedly killed the deceased on their way out of the community. An undisclosed source said the deceased was killed by the herdsmen, because they were asked to leave the community. A member of the Council of Chiefs in Okawu autonomous community in Onicha LGA, Chief Samuel Ugota, who confirmed the incident, said the corpse was found shortly after the herdsmen left the community. He said the herdsmen had been causing destruction in their farmlands in the community. Ugota said the matter had been reported to the Police, adding that the victim’s body was already in police custody for onward delivery to the mortuary. The Police Spokesperson in the State, DSP Loveth Odah, also confirmed the incident, but noted that the Command was yet to unravel the circumstances surrounding the killing of the young man.