The Nimbo community in Uzo Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State has urged the Federal Government for compensation of N17 billion following an invasion by suspected herdsmen.
The traditional ruler of the community, Chief John Akor, made the demand when he testified at the panel of inquiry into the incidence on Wednesday.
He said that the sum would be a recompense for the damages suffered by members of the community.
“Our community demands a compensation of N17 billion for human loses, unlawful destruction of property and criminal deprivation of use of our farms for over two decades,” he said.
The monarch said that the community also needed a hospital to rehabilitate victims of the prolonged incursions by herdsmen.
Akor said that 11 people lost their lives during the April 25 invasion, while several others were injured, adding that the corpses were still at the morgues.
“The deaths recorded during the incursion stands at 11. The economy of our community has been ruined. Part of our prayers is for a combined team of police, Department of State Service (DSS) and the military to investigate why the invasion was not contained, in spite of prior information to that effect.
“We equally request the Federal Government to establish security presence in Nimbo, being a border community,” he said.
Akor said that, as a traditional ruler, he never collected any form of gratification from the herdsmen to allow them graze in the community.
He said that the economy of the rural community had been shattered following the activities of the herdsmen.
Also testifying, the President-General of Nimbo Town Union, Mr. Mathias Ekere, said that the community had co-existed peacefully with the herdsmen for over 30 years.
Matthias said that from the outset different cattle breeders resided in their community and our people insisted that each group must have identification mark.
“When the arrangement of cattle identification was not working, the herdsmen had to relocate but came back in 2003.
That was when our relationship with them became sour.
“Our people are always intimidated because the herdsmen came with sophisticated weapons, order farmers to kneel down and match their cows to graze on cash crops,” he said.
He said that on their return, the herdsmen did not come with their wives and families, but entered the community through Kogi.
He said that from their experiences, members of the community were still in fear and would no longer want herdsmen there.
“Our men were traumatised as our wives were raped in our presence. From our soured relationship, we do not want them again in our land. They should find another place to graze their cattle,” Ekere said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that prior to the commencement of the sitting, the Chief Legal Officer of the panel, Mr. Richard Udeichi, announced that the Fulani community would be present on June 27.
“The Fulani community informed me that they will come on June 27 due to their ongoing Ramadan,” Udeichi said.