Barely 48 hours after president Muhammed Buhari reiterated his administration’s victory over incessant killing in the country and the need to regularize the activities of the herdemen in the country, a 65 -year- old -man, Mazi Ozoemena Iriaka, has been killed by herdsmen yesterday, in Umuekpu-Agwa, Oguta Local Government Area (LGA),Imo State.
This, according to the villagers who converged at the scene of the incident said the killing has continued for some time as the bandits threaten to attack the community and their farmland again considering that their (community) livelihood is dependent on farming.
The community maintained that this was aside constant threat to life encountered by indigenes who farm in their land on a daily basis since 2015.
Findings revealed that Police officers of at Mgbala Police Division, Oguta, and some personnel of the Nigerian Army arrived the scene after the killers had fled and carried the body of the butchered farmer.
Agwa, a community known for farming is located within the oil rich region of the state which contributes to the food security of the state, has been witnessing food shortages recently due to massive cattle ranching.
Several communities are currently battling with the constant threat of herdsmen to their means of livelihood, sources said are; Akabo- is one of the communities where it was also alleged that a couple was killed last week; others places includes: Izombe, Okwukwu, Ejemekwuru, Amafor, Obibi, Amakohia and Egbeme all in Imo state.
Speaking to newsmen in the wake of the attack which occurred in the early hours of yesterday, a witness (name withheld) said, the incident has thrown the whole community into fear and chaos considering the spate of murder going on in the country by different men of the underworld.
Narrating the unfortunate incident, Mr Austin Onyeoma (a resident) said after destruction of their crops by herder’s cattle, the community has been dragged into economic quagmire, subjecting them to excruciating pains during this pandemic.
He said, having heard the herdermen were on their farm land in the early hour of the yesterday, they matched to the location to know the rationale for their invasion only for the bandits to attack them with AK-47 .
According to him: “When we got to our farm land where their Cattle were devouring our crops which we invested so much, we engaged them on conversation only for them to start shooting at us with their AK-47.
“In the process, they shot Mazi Iriaka and slit his back neck after we ran for dear life. I have never seen this in my entire life where people can no longer farm on their land to survive because of threats from herdsmen considering the lockdown.”