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Enugu residents protest killing of pregnant woman by suspected herdsmen

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By UzohUgwueze – Enugu

Residents of Emene in Enugu East local government area of Enugu state on Thursday blocked the Abakaliki-Enugu expressway in protest of the alleged gruesome murder of a pregnant woman by suspected Fulani.

A community source disclosed that Mrs. Pat Ngwu, who was reportedly abducted from her farmland at NdiunoNchatancha in Emene by suspected bandits on Wednesday with her remains found in a bush near a stream on Thursday morning. It was gathered that her belly was ripped open by the assailants while several machete cuts were found on her lifeless body.

According to the eyewitnesses, information was received from passers-by on Thursday morning that the mutilated corpse of a woman was dumped by Asaba river. “When the youths rushed to the place, they discovered that it was the missing woman that was killed.

“We found several machete cuts on her body including the head and neck with her pant removed and we are suspecting that she must have been attacked and raped by bandits in the bush,” a native of Nchatancha said.

Orient Weekend gathered that the incident triggered protest in Emene area of the state, with residents blocking major roads. They marched through the streets and blocked the Enugu-Abakaliki highway at Eke Obinagu market area and Annunciation Hospital junction, burning tyres and beating people including travellers.

Some vehicles were reportedly damaged by the youths who threatened to go after the bandits wherever they reside within the community to revenge the woman’s death.

Security operatives from Emenepolice division were said to have brought the situation under control and later took the corpse of the woman to Annunciation Hospital mortuary in Emene.

The police public relations officer, PPRO, of the Enugu state command, SP EbereAmaraizu confirmed the incident. He said, in a statement, that “following the report of the incident of alleged murder case of a woman inside a farm land at Nchatancha community in Emene Enugu state received by the command today, the commissioner of police,Suleiman Balarabe, has directed for full scale investigations.

“This is with a view to establishing what actually happened and persons involved, motives amongst others. The command further advises members of the public to continue to be law abiding and avoiding any thing that will truncate the existing peace and security in the state as security operatives will leave no stone unturned towards unmasking those behind the dastardly act.

“Meanwhile, the corpse of the said deceased woman has been deposited at the hospital mortuary of the annunciation hospital for autopsy.”

Also,the Enugu state government has condemned the alleged murder of a woman in a farmland at Nchatancha community in Emene, Enugu East local government area. In a terse statement signed by Prof. Simon UchennaOrtuanya, Secretary to Enugu State Government, read in parts: “We condole with the family of the deceased and hereby charge the security agencies to commence a full scale investigation into the unfortunate incident with a view to apprehending and prosecuting the culprits,” he said.

The killing of Ngwu came barely three weeks after a Catholic priest of Enugu Diocese, Reverend Fr. Paul Offu was killed by suspected herdsmen along Ihe-Agbude road in Awgulocal government area of Enugu state.

The latest gruesome killing took place less than 24 hours after South East Governors wrote President Muhammadu Buhari, to complain of the continued menace of the group in their states.

In the letter to Buhari, on Wednesday, signed by Chairman of the South East Governors Forum, the governors, had requested: “That Mr. President do approve the earlier resolution of the southeast Governors banning herdsmen without cattle and movement of cattle by foot in the zone to eliminate increasing cases of killing, maiming, raping of our women, the kidnapping of our people and the destruction of our farmlands mostly carried out by foreign herdsmen and in most cases with the backing of some compromised local herders.

“We plead with Mr. President that we publish this letter to assuage our people’s feelings who erroneously think that no efforts are being made by the leaders of the South East to tackle insecurity and economic challenges facing the zone and to let them know that her leaders before now have been working very hard without making noise as issues of security must not be discussed in the public.”

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