Raphael Ede, Enugu
The Movement for the Actualisation of Sovereign State of Biafra on Tuesday gave herdsmen 48-hour ultimatum to quit the Ogboli-Ohaja community, in the Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State, saying they would not be held responsible for what would happen if they failed to heed the warning.
The ultimatum followed an alleged attack on a young man, Kenneth Ude, on his farm by some herders on Monday.
Ude, 32, was said to be working on his cassava farm when the herders led their cattle to graze at the place.
The herders were said to have attacked him with machetes when he attempted to stop them, leaving him for dead.
He was, however, later rescued and rushed to the Jideofor Medical Hospital, in Awgu.
The development was said to have fuelled tension as some young men combed the bush in search of the fleeing herdsmen.
Addressing journalists on Tuesday, the Deputy National Leader of MASSOB, Chief Ikechukwu Ekwe, said the group would no longer tolerate killing of innocent people by herdsmen in the area.
“We will fish them out wherever they may be in this community after 48 hours and handle them our own way. No more will we allow our people to be subjected to this level of maltreatment in their own soil. I do not think it is a crime for one to go to his farm,” he said
Ekwe stated that farmlands had been destroyed in the area by herders, stressing that attempts to get authorities address the situation had proved abortive.
The Enugu State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP David Ndukwe, said he had yet to be briefed on the incident.