ONITSHA (Sundiata Post) – The number of Igbo communal locations in 10 states of Anambra, Abia, Ebonyi, Enugu, Imo, Rivers, Delta, Edo, Benue and Kogi presently threatened or permanently occupied by armed Fulani herdsmen has now risen to 700. This is according to new findings made by the International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), contained in a statement issued on Sunday (today) by its principal officers: Emeka Umeagbalasi, board chair; Chinwe Umeche, head of femocracy and good governance; Chidimma Evangeline Udegbunam, head of campaign and publicity and Comrade Samuel Kamanyaoku, head of field data collection and documentation.
The full statement reads:
Intersociety’s new findings show that Enugu State still tops the list with 117 communal locations, followed by Anambra with 101, Imo 68, Ebonyi 59 and Abia 52. In the outpost Igbo areas, there are at least 104 in ancestral Igbo locations and their neighbors in Benue State and not less than 50 in Kogi, 30 in Delta/Edo and 25 in Rivers State.
Intersociety arrived at its latest figure by naming or citing not less than 556 locations. Fifty others were indirectly mentioned and 100 categorised as ‘dark figures’ or those not captured or recorded; bulk of which was projected for Imo, Abia, Ebonyi and possibly Delta and Kogi States. In Benue and Kogi States, attacks including killings of Igbo Christian natives of the communities of Igbo root and their neighbours by Jihadist herdsmen have long become a routine and unchecked.
It must be remembered that the first attempt at aggregating and congregating the number of communal locations threatened or permanently occupied by Jihadist Fulani herdsmen in Igboland was made in August 2019 by the Eastern Outlook Newspaper and leadership of the Alaigbo Development Foundation where it was reported that “Herdsmen had taken over 139 villages in Igboland: Enugu 56 spots, Anambra 23, Imo 17, Ebonyi 12, Abia seven, Delta 15 and Rivers nine”. In May 2020, Intersociety made its own findings built on the former and found in the end that the number had increased to 350 as at the same month and 400 in June 2020; with Enugu State taking 92 communal locations, Anambra 86, Imo 64, Abia 47, Ebonyi 41, Igbo Delta/Edo 22 and Igbo Rivers 15. The total figure of 400 as at June 2020 had included ‘dark figure’ of 32, bringing the total then to 400.
For purpose of clarity and clarification, the affected communal locations, now standing at 700, include those openly or remotely forced or threatened by the Nigerian government to play host to permanent settlement of the Jihadists or those under periodic and in-boundary or out- boundary attacks including abduction and raping of their women and young girls, killings and destruction of their farmlands and crops; or those facing threats of invasion on flimsy allegations against them by government or the Jihadists bordering on “killing of cows”, etc. As we have seen in the course of our field investigation, too, a community can play host to more than one Jihadist herdsmen attack or settlement including as much as four of such attacks or settlements.
For instance, the presence and permanent settlement by the armed Jihadist Fulani herdsmen inside the Ogbaru Forest Swamps, which joins three Local Governments of Ogbaru, Idemmili North and Ekwusigo in Anambra State and their communities numbering over 40 is considered a serious threat to their lives, properties and faith in the hands of the Jihadists. This means that any of the affected communities in the area is vulnerable to Jihadist herdsmen attacks including killings, sexual violence and destruction of farmlands and farm crops or threat of same. The recently retired Deputy Inspector General of Police, Celestine Okoye had also in March 2021 made a supportive and corroborative disclosure, saying that “there are 332 Fulani settlements in Southeast alone occupied by heavily armed (with AK-47 rifles and other sophisticated rifles) Fulani herdsmen and those settlements are largely located in Ebonyi, Anambra, Enugu and Abia State with serious inroad into Imo State”.
Enugu State: Total=117 Locations: Ibite Ogbaku, Akpugo, Achi, Inyi, Nachi, Ukpabi-Nimbo, Ukpata, Akegbe-Ugwu, Ugwuoba, Eka Aku, Igbo-Etiti, Amagunze, Amaechi Idodo, Ugwu-Onyeama, Egede, Adada, Nkpologwu, Afa, Uvuru, Ugwu Aboh, Waziri Estate-Nsukka, Enugu-Ezike, Neke-Uno, Akpogasi, Ugwuogo, Ekpebe, Madonna University Layout, Ihuokpa-3-Corner, Akwuke, Industrial Layout-Emene, Unity Layout, Ibagwa-Nike City Layout-Amokwe, Heritage Layout-Oyoho-Nike, Odo Rice-Emene, New Zion State Layout-Ugwu Onyeama, Phase 11, Independence Layout, 4-Corner (Enugu), Redemption Layout (Enugu), Amokpo, Ugbaka-Nkanu, Aninri, Umuabi (near FRSC Regional Training Headquarters in Udi), Awgu, Nenwe (in Aninri LGA) and Amiri Village in Nkanu West LGA.
Others are: Eziani (Nsukka LGA), Ugwuogo-Nike, Oyoho Village (Nike), Ngwo, Ibeagwa Community (Enugu East LGA), Amaoji (Enugu East LGA), Okutu (Enugu North) and Akwegbe-Agu (in Igbo-Etiti LGA); Imezi-Owa, Umuna-Ndiagu, Umuna-Ndiuno, Oha-Ndiagu, Okpogho-Mgbata, Amankwo-Ndiagu, Amansiodo-Ihuonyia and Owa Communities; all in Ezeagu Local Government Areas; Adani, Igga, Urobo, Ugbene-Ajima, Nkpunator-Nkpologwu, Umulokpa, Adaba, Opanda, Ojor and Asaba in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Areas, Nara-Unataeze in Nkanu East LGA, its seven affected villages are: Amaofia, Amagu, Umuiba, Umuokparangene, Umueze, Umunze and Umuawaragu; Akpawfu Community in Nkanu East LGA, its three affected villages are Agu-udene, Ndibinagu and Obodo-Avuru; and Agba-Umana Community in Ezeagu LGA.
The rest are Ugwuagba, Osusu, Ndaburu and Amanyi forests in Mbu and Agu-udene Village in same Mbu Community and forests of Ikem (Ikem Agamede Forest), Umuero and Ihamufu Communities and a boundary Forest between Ugwuogo and Nike; all in Isi-Uzo LGA. The Jihadist Fulani herdsmen are also in the forests of Ogbodu-Aba, Imilike Agu, Agu Ezimo, Obollo Eke, Obollo Etiti, Agu Orba and Eha Ndiagu Communities in Udenu LGA. The rest are Ugboka, Nkerefi, Nburunbu and Amagunze (Onicha-Agu and Umunevo Villages) Communities all in Nkanu East LGA.
The 25 new locations in Enugu State are: Uzam-Agu in Akpugo-Nkanu, Agu-Orba and Ohebe-Orba in Udenu LGA, Ibite-Olo in Ezeagu LGA, Owo/Owo Junction Forest in Nkanu East, Agu-Ohani Farmland in Nara-Unataeze Community in Nkanu East, boundary forests between Okwutu and Ogbuji Communities in Nsukka, Enugu State and Igala speaking part of Kogi State, boundary forests and farmlands between Ezzeagu-Ishielu in Ebonyi State and Nara-Unataeze in Nkanu East, Enugu State, Ogbaku in Awgu LGA of Enugu State, Akpankume/Nze in Udi, Enugu State, Eke and Affa Communities in Udi LGA, Ojjor in Uzo-Uwani LGA, Ogene-Umuida and Umuogbuagwo villages in Enugu-Ezike, Eha-Amufu in Enugu State, Amankwo Ndiagu, Ihuonyia and Okpogho Communities in Ezeagu LGA, Attakwu in Akegbe-Ugwu, Imeoha Village (Nkanu East), Ugwu-Ogo, Nike, and Ugwuleshi in Awgu LGA. Total=117 Locations
Anambra: 101 locations: The communities include Nteje, Ogbunka, Ndiukwuenu-Obaeze (location of Mamu River Forest), Amaetiti, Ufuma, Ezira, Umunze, Ozubulu (Enugwu-Ozubulu and Odekpe/Oba/Atani/Ozubulu Forest Swamps), Oba, Umuchukwu, Akpu, Ndikeilionwu, Ogboji, Ndiowu, Mmiata-Anam, Achala, Ebenebe, Ogbunike, Ihitte (in Orumba South), Umunnachi (hilltop), Okija, Ihiala, Dunukofia, Agulu, Neni, Ogbu, Awkuzu and 3-3 Area of Nsugbe, Atani, Akiri-Ogidi, Akiri-Ozizor, Aminyi, Mputu, Obeagwe, Ohita, Ogbakuba, Umuodu, Ossamala, Ogwu-Aniocha, Umunankwo, Umuzu and Ogwuikpere; all in Ogbaru LGA (through Odekpe/Oba/ Atani/Ozubulu Forest Swamps). It is strongly suspected too that the Herdsmen have infiltrated and settled in Lilu, Akwa Ihedi and Unubi (in Nnewi South LGA) and are already in Nkwo-Oha-Ukpor Community; all owing to their difficult terrains or topographies.
Other Anambra communities involved are Amanuke, Ugbene, Ugbenu, Amansii, Urum, Ukwuru, Isu Aniocha and Mgbakwu, all in Awka North LGA; and Umuawuru, Awka, Isiagu, Ntoko, Ndikpa and Nibo in Awka South LGA. In Anambra East LGA, they have infiltrated and settled in Aguleri, Nando, Nsugbe and Igbariam (with Aguleri as their main base) and in Aghamelum (Ayamelum) LGA, they have forcefully settled in the whole eight communities of Anaku, Omor, Umueje, Omasi, Igbakwu, Umumbo, Umuerum and Ifite-Ogwari, Umuomaku Community in Orumba South and Nawgu in Dunukofia Local Government Area. They are also in Umuoji, Ogidi (Umuoji/Ogidi boundary forest) and Agu-Nkpor Communities in Idemmili North LGA and Ojoto in Idemmili South LGA. In Nimo Community, Njikoka LGA, they have permanently settled at two locations of Abba Village and Agu-Owa Village (Nimo/Nneni boundary), from where they wreck havocs in surrounding Communities of Enugwu-Ukwu, Eziowelle, Abacha, Adazi-Enu, Adazi-Ani, Abagana, etc. Communities of Ideani, Uke, Abatete and Nnobi, etc are also affected by the movement and violent activities of the Jihadist Herdsmen and their cows in the area. It is also suspected that they have moved in and occupied the Umunze/Ezira/Umuchu boundary forest. The 15 new locations are: Ozulumba-Awgbu in Orumba North, Edenne-Ugbenu, Oba-Ofemmili and Ugbene Communities in Awka North, (Forests of) Umurum, Anaku, Omasi-Agu and Omasi-Uno, (Forests of) Ezu River, Umueje, Aguleri, Nsugbe (Aguleri-Nneyi-Nsugbe Bushes), Umueje-Adani-Asagba Bushes, Ogboji in Orumba South and Nanka-Awgbu Forests. Total=101 Locations.
Imo: 68 Locations: Onuimo, Ehime and Isiala Mbano, Ndegwu and Orogwe in Owerri West, Ogbaku in Mbaitoli LGA, Amakaohia-Ubi and Obokofia (Owerri West LGA), Obudi-Agwa Community (Ohaji/Egbema LGA), Okohia Village of Umuduruodu-Okwelle (Onuimo LGA), Ejemekwuru, Eziorsu, Izombe and Agwa Communities (Oguta LGA), Nkwerre, Eziama, Obaire, Amaigbo and Umozu in Nkwerre and Nwangele Local Government Areas, Oru (Ahiazu Mbaise), Ikpa-Ocha (Arondizogu-Ideato South LGA) and Agbala Community (Owerri North LGA), Umuekune-Irete Community (Owerri West LGA), Umuchima, Ugwuaku-Ezinnachi and Umuowa-Ibu (Okigwe LGA), Umuoma (Ihitte Uboma LGA), Naze Cluster (Nekede) and Nekede Old Road Forest.
They are also in Osina, Obinze (near Military Barracks); Umundugba, Nkume and Abba Communities in Orlu Local Government Areas; Mbieri and Ubomiri in Mbaitolu LGA; and Agbabo Village in Umulolo and Mechanic Village; all in Okigwe Local Government Area; Uratta (Owerri North), Emeabiam and Amakohia-Ubi in Owerri West, Umuanyim Village (Onumiri) in Ngor-Okpala LGA, Achicha Community in Ngor-Okpala LGA, Olokwu na Umusu Village in Owerri West, Umunakara Village in Ngor-Okpala LGA and Ngwuru Village in Ngor-Okpala LGA. Half of the 24 Communities in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government Area are presently under Jihadist Fulani Herdsmen terrorism. They include Umuagwo, Oloshi, Umunkwaku, Umapu, Obile, Obitti, Opuoma, Mgbirichi/Abakuru, Assa, Awara, Ikwerede, Umuokanne, Obiakpu, Oroba, Obosima, Abackeke, Abaezi, Ekugba, Obeakpu, Obiakpu, Mgbara, Umuoji and Mmahu-Opuoma. The Jihadists, too, are likely to have threatened the Omuma, Akata and Amiri Communities in Oru East LGA through the Akwu Forest. The Amakohia-Ubi in Owerri West LGA and Obossa-Assa in Ohaji-Egbema are also not spared. Total=68 Locations.
Ebonyi: 59 Locations: Emoha, Nkalagu, Afikpo, Izzi, Ezza, Ezzaegu, Ezamgbo, Ukpo, Ekeimoha, Akpoha, Abomege, Onicha, Ohaukwu, Umuogudu-Akpu, Ukwagba-Mgbo Community (Ohaukwu LGA), Uburu (Ohaozara LGA), Okposi (Ohaozara LGA), Aga Village (Ohaukwu LGA), Ama Nguzu in Nguzu Edda (Afikpo South LGA), Ama Oso Edda (Afikpo South LGA), Eziedda (Afikpo South LGA), Amangwu Edda (Afikpo South), Oso Edda (Afikpo South LGA), Owutu Edda (Afikpo South LGA), Agharosa Village (Izzi LGA), Ndiohia Iboko (Izzi LGA), Ezza Egu Ndebo (Izzi LGA), Ishiagu (Izzi LGA), Amuzu Igeagu (Izzi LGA) and Nkaleke Igbeagu (Izzi LGA). Others are Ndu Nwanphu Igbeagu (Izzi LGA) and Uzashi Igbeagu (Izzi LGA), Ndiakpurata Oguzereonwiya (Igbeagu) in Izzi LGA, Ndiegbe-Onuebonyi, Igbeagu (Izzi LGA) and Nwanwu-Igbeagu (Izzi LGA). They are also in Ohofia-Agba and Obeagu Communities in Isielu LGA and Isu, Oshiri and Ukawu Communities in Onicha Local Government Area, Uburu and Isu in Ohazara LGA, Eguno-Ezzagu in Ishielu LGA, Ugwuru, Ametta-Oziza in Afikpo North, Obeagu, Nkalaha, Umuhuali, Amaezu and Nkalagu in Ishielu LGA, Enu-Ohia Itim in Afikpo North, Akaeze in Ivo LGA, Ugwulangwu in Ohazara LGA, Nkpoghoro, Ugwu-Egu and Ohaisu in Afikpo North, Amasiri-Afikpo and Ebunwana-Edda in Afikpo South. Total=59 Locations.
Abia: 52 locations: Leeru, Ohambele-Ndoki (Ukwa East), Nkpa, Ohafia, Bende, Ubakala and Owerre-Nta, Obohia-Ndoki (Ukwa East LGA), Aru Umuonyeukwu in Aru-Ngwa (Osisoma LGA), Umuora/Umuchichi (Osisioma LGA), Owaza Village (Ukwa West LGA), Ebem/Okagwa Ohafia (Ohafia LGA), Ihechiowa (Arochukwu LGA), Ututu Village-Arochukwu (Arochukwu LGA), Lokpanta (Isuochi LGA), Eberi Omuma (Abia State), Umuenye Village (Isiala Ngwa LGA), Ama Oji, Isiokporo (Isiala Ngwa LGA), Abiriba-Uzo (Ohafia LGA), Igbere (Bende LGA), Ugwueke (Bende LGA), Abam (Bende LGA), Alayi (Bende LGA), Item Village (Bende LGA), Omuma-Uzo (Ukwa West LGA), Umuorie (former site of old Imo Airport) Isiala Ngwa South LGA), Ozu Item and Ozu Abam (Bende LGA), Obeaku City (Ukwa West LGA), Amaeke-Abiriba (Ohafia LGA), Ndiebe Abam (Bende LGA) and Mkpa Community (Bende LGA), Uzuakoli (leprosy centre) Bende LGA.
The rest are: Alaojii Village (Obingwa LGA), Assenentu Village (Ugwunagbo LGA), Umuakpiti-Nkara (Isiala Ngwa LGA), Umuokpo Village (Obingwa LGA), Mkpuko Ohuhu-Ala (Isiala Ngwa LGA), Umuako Nsirimo (Umuahia South LGA), Umuakuma Umueze (Isiala Ngwa South LGA), Umumba Nsirimo (Umuahia South LGA) and Umuerim Nsirimo (Umuahia South LGA), Lekwesi Community in Umunneochi LGA, Okobo Plantation in Arochukwu, Arochukwu LGA and Achara-Umuihe in Umuihe Community and Umueke Village in Owerrenta Community; all in Isiala-Ngwa LGA of Abia State, Ugwu-Nkpa in Bende LGA, Afo-Ugiri Forests near Umuahia, Amaiyi-Obinohia (Ndiubi-Ugwu-Okpoko) in Isiukwuato LGA, Amaogbu in Umuaku-Isuochi and Umuchieze in Umunneochi. Total=52 Locations.
Delta/Edo Outpost Igbo locations: Over 30 locations: The over 30 outpost Igbo locations include strategic forest villages and communities in Agbor, Olor, Ewulu, Okpanam, Iselleukwu, Oshimmili, Onicha-Ugbo, Ndokwa, Umunede, Ogwasiukwu, Ibusa, Kwale, Obiaruku and Igbo-Akiri, Asaba, Ella, Ubulu-Ukwu, Ubulu-Unor, Abor, Akwukwu-Igbo and Issele-Azagba, as well as Ashama Community in Aniocha South LGA and Agwe-Etiti/Iyo near Abalagada in Aboh in Ndokwa East. Total=30 Locations plus.
Rivers: Over 25 Locations: They include forest villages of Onuimo, Ugurunta, Omoku, Ahuada, Omuha (Umoha), Emeoha, Okehi, Isiokpo, Oleh, Umuechem, Agbomchia Farm Road/Pipeline, Eleme, Emeagwa Int’l Airport area, Ubima/Nval War College (Isiokpo LGA), Elele and forest communities in Oyigbo Local Government Area. Total = 25 Locations plus.
Threatened Ancestral Igbo Communities & Their Neighbors In Benue State
104 Communal Locations: Obi/Ujo Local Government: Ameka, Anyadegwu, Anyawugbo, Atekpe, Eja, Ega, Ichacho, Obi, Obachita, Obigwe, Obijekwu, Okpoma, Onyike, Oshirigwe, Otakpi, Otakini, Ugburu,Ukpa, Umoda, Utabiji, Ukpute, Ukpila, Ucho, Oyiwo, Utunche, Orihi, Okpokwu, Ubazu, Obubu, Oboru, Ikomi, Ikachi, Ihulam, Idajo, Adum, Ohuma, Ohuye, Ojor, Ohene, Ogoro, Ogede, Odiapa, Itakpa, Irabi, Igbegi, Eewu, Echoro. Okpokwu Local Government: Okpoga, Akpakpa, Amuju, Idiri, Ogbaga, Okpudu, Acho, Adiga, Ichona, Adi, Owukpa, Amejo, Atamaka, Ati, Ede, Ehuhu, Eke, Elugu, Eru, Ibagba, Ugbugbu, Ukalegwu, Uko, Uleke, Orokam. Others are: Ado Local Government: Igumale, Agila, Ulayi, Ijigbam, Utonkon, Ekile, Agatu Local Government: Obagaji, Akpeko, Olagomakwu, Olegotekwu, Nahim, APA Local Government: Ugbokpo, Edakwu, Oba, Ikobi, Akpete, Okwigi, Iga, Ogbadibo Local Government: Otukpa, Orokam, Owukpa, Otukpo Local Government: Ogobia, Upu, Otukpoicho, Otobi, Adoka, Akpa-Igede, Oyagede, Ochido, Ugboju, Akopa, Aturukpo, Akpachi. The ancestral Igbo Communities in Nasarawa State are also facing same threats of Jihad and destruction of lives and properties. Total=104 Locations/Communities. It must be noted that the worst hit Local Government Areas are the ancestral Igbo parts of Agatu, Ogbadibo and Okpokwu. Same is the case in the triangle boundaries of Benue, Enugu and Ebonyi States particularly in Owukpa and Orokam boundary communities of Benue State.
Threatened Ancestral Igbo Communities & Their Neighbors In Kogi State
50 Communal locations: Ibaji LGA: Alagwu, Amabo, Ana-Apiti, Anaocha, Echeno, Iregu, Ika, Ikenye, Ikpogwu, Iyana and Odeke. In Ofu LGA, the Communities of Igbo root threatened by Jihadist herders include Onicha-Igor and Ogbe-Onicha. In Idah LGA, they include Igala Ogba (Achikala Clan) and Achadu Oko, etc. In Olamaboro LGA, they include Ogwugwu, Ogbodo, Ogili, Ojeke, Okolo-Dodo, Omelewu, Onegbe and Orinago. There are also other micro Communities of Igbo nativity presently under Jihadist Fulani threats in Igalamela and Ofu Local Government Areas of the State. Total = 30 Locations plus.
It must be noted too that there are other micro Communities of Igbo nativity or ancestry located in other LGAs of the state presently under threats of Jihad and destruction of lives and properties by jihadist Fulani herdsmen.