The country-home of the Speaker of Anambra State House of Assembly, Ifite-Ogwari community in Ayamelum Council Area of Anambra State is presently in chaos over a clash between the people and Fulani herdsmen that resulted in four deaths.
It was gathered from a source in the community that trouble began when Fulani herdsmen grazing in the community allegedly attacked and killed a woman on her farm.
In retaliation, youths from the community were said to have mobilized and killed about 3 of the herdsmen and about 20 cows.
According to the source who pleaded anonymity, “Following the incident, the Police arrested some members of the community including top community leaders and brought them back to Awka, the State Capital. They almost arrested our traditional ruler, Igwe Alphonsus Ofuebe but for the intervention of some sorts.”
A visit to the community showed that most of the Youths have gone into hiding for fear of arrest by the Nigeria Police even as it was difficult to identify the family of the alleged murdered woman.
Confirming the incident, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Haruna Mohammed said four persons were allegedly murdered and the Police had waded into the matter to avert breakdown of law and order.
He revealed that investigations are ongoing into the incident and some persons have been invited for questioning.
Meanwhile, in a statement, a Pro-Igbo Group, Igbo Mandate Congress (IMC) has condemned the continued detention of some leaders of the community by the Police.
According to the statement, the detained leaders include Chief Nwaora Ikeozalla (Deputy President General) and Chief Michael Akamala (Chief Security Officer) of Ifite-Ogwari among others.
It regretted that the Legal Adviser to the community, Barrister Michael Chukwuemeka, has been denied proper access to the detained elders and that the Deputy President General is in a bad state of health.
The group called on the Nigerian Police to immediately release the community elders detained and pay them compensation for their illegal detention and advised the youths of the village to suspend any planned reaction and allow a solution to be worked out within the next few days by concerned Igbo leaders.
It will be recalled that Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State had earlier in 2015 set up a Farmer/Cattle Menace committee comprising key community leaders, security agents and the leaders of the Herders Community.
Part of the agreement reached was that in the event that any party kills the other, they will pay a five hundred thousand naira compensation aside being made to face the full wrath of the law.
This has, however, attracted criticisms from major stakeholders in the state who believe that the governor erred in pegging human life at such meager cost.