Nsukka (Enugu State) – The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka Diocese, Prof. Godfrey Onah, has alleged that Monday’s Ukpabi Nimbo killings could have been averted if security agencies did not withdraw from the community.
Onah made the remark in Nsukka, Enugu State on Friday while briefing newsmen on the attack and killings by suspected herdsmen.
He said that if the security agencies posted to the community had waited, they could have repelled the attack.
“The most painful aspect of the attack is that it was announced, expected and executed in broad daylight without any inhibition.
“The security tactically withdrew shortly before the attack and when they returned to the area, there was no attempt to pursue and arrest the herdsmen who carried out the attack.
“For now, nobody can say the exact number of the people killed as those who were badly wounded are still dying and dead bodies are being recovered,’’ he said.
He urged on Federal Government to arrest the perpetrators and their sponsors and also disarm all those who carry rifles in public without permission.
“We appreciate President Mohammadu Buhari’s directive for security to go after herdsmen that commit crime in the county.
”But we wish the directive will be carried to the letter before the situation gets out of hand.
“Protection of lives and property is the primary responsibility of any government. Governance will lose its meaning without the guarantee of safety of the citizens.
“If nothing serious is done to call the herdsmen to order, by the time Buhari wins his war against corruption, there will be no one left for him to govern,” he said.
The bishop expressed fear that the attack on Nimbo, popularly known for farming, might result in acute food shortage in the state.
“Nimbo is one of the food baskets of the state and now that many people are homeless, very soon the state may face the problem of food shortage,“ he said.
Onah, however, urged the people of Nsukka not to engage in any form of reprisal attack as it was wrong, unlawful and unchristian.
“Besides, we should not give the security any excuse to add to our woes as they are sure to respond rapidly to any perceived form of aggression on our part.
“Reprisal attack is not the answer as it is wrong, unlawful and unchristian. We should patently wait for government’s solution in the face of this provocation,’’ he said.
He commended Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State and Sen. Chukwuka Utazi for attending to the injured and displaced people.
“We hope they will do everything within their power to ensure that there is no repeat of the Nimbo killing by herdsmen in any part of the state,’’ he said. (NAN)