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A group of women in Enugu State on Tuesday staged a ‘Save Our Soul’ protest at the state House of Assembly against alleged rape, killings and destruction of farm crops by Fulani herdsmen.
They appealed to the House to rescue them from the menace of the herdsmen who allegedly rape rural women on their farms, graze, destroy crops, rob them and in some cases kill their spouses.
The women who were mostly from the Diocese of Enugu North, Anglican Communion, comprising Enugu North, Enugu East, Udi and Ezeagu councils, urged the lawmakers to make laws that will ban the herdsmen from grazing on their farm lands.
The leader of the group and wife of the Bishop of Enugu North Diocese, Mrs Achogaonye Eze, who spoke for the protesters, said unless the herdsmen are stopped, their lives would continue to be in great danger because the Fulani herdsmen arm themselves with sophisticated weapons, which make it difficult for local vigilantes to confront them.
Mrs Eze further alleged that the Fulani herdsmen were also involved in kidnapping and robbery, lamenting that previous reports to the law enforcement agencies were ignored.
She said their people no longer go to their farms except in groups for fear of being raped or killed by the herdsmen.
“They have butchered two men who tried to confront them; they rape women and destroy their crops. They pretend to be selling bush meat and when you stop over to buy, their gang will come out of the bush and rob you of your belongings. They are now wielding AK 47 guns at villagers who confront them and since the vigilantes do not have such sophisticated weapons to challenge them, they succumb and run to save their own lives”, she said.
The Speaker of the state Asembly, Hon Edward Ubosi, who was represented by the House Public Relations Officer; Mr Jonas Ugwuanyi, advised them not to take to any unlawful acts and promised that the lawmakers will find solutions to the problem.
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