The recent attack by herdsmen in Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, which led to the death of four persons and several others wounded, is a clarion call on Governor Peter Mbah to check the festering insecurity in the state. The killer herdsmen should no longer be treated with kid gloves. It is good that the governor has vowed to track down the attackers and bring them to justice. We believe that the Nimbo tragedy will not be repeated. It is because of the incessant attacks by herdsmen, gunmen and bandits on hapless citizens that made many Nigerians to call for the establishment of state police in the country.

In July 2021, many people were seriously injured when some herdsmen attacked Opanda village in the same Nimbo community of Enugu State. According to reports, the assailants used machetes to inflict different degrees of injury on many people in the village, a development that led to the death of some of the victims.

Earlier in 2016, about 40 persons were reportedly killed in Nimbo in similar attacks. Seven villages – Nimbo Ngwoko, Ugwuijoro, Ekwuru, Ebor, Enugu Nimbo, Umuome and Ugwuachara were among the areas attacked. Ten residential houses and a church were burnt by the herdsmen. They also destroyed some vehicles and motorcycles and killed some domestic animals.

We condemn the incessant attacks by herdsmen on defenceless citizens and urge the security operatives to curb the menace.

Apart from the Enugu mayhem, the herdsmen menace has reared its ugly head in other parts of the country. In March this year, a retired army officer and 15 others were reportedly killed by suspected armed herdsmen in an attack on Wandor, Mbaikyor community in the Mbalom Council Ward of Gwer East Local Government Area of Benue State.

The invaders also razed over 50 houses, huts, farmlands, and food barns in 11 settlements in the attack. The latest incident came about six years after a similar attack by armed herdsmen on St. Ignatius Catholic Church, Ukpor Parish, Mbalom Gwer East council, which claimed the lives of two Catholic priests and 17 parishioners.

In January, at least 30 people were reportedly killed in renewed violence by the group in communities in Plateau State. On December 23 2023, they attacked Mangu and Bokkos councils of the state and murdered over 150 people.

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Apart from Enugu, Benue and Plateau, other states are not free from attacks by armed militias. On June 2, 2022, gunmen suspected to be Fulani herders invaded St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church, Owo, Ondo State, during Mass and killed about 40 worshippers.

In Kaduna State, no fewer than 518 people had been killed, 20 villages ransacked, 18 burnt down, and thousands of victims rendered refugees across many communities between 2017 and 2023, in persistent attacks and killings in Atyapland in the Zangon Kataff Local Government Area of Kaduna State.

Between 2017 and May 2, 2020, herdsmen conducted 654 attacks, killed 2,539 and kidnapped 253 people in Nigeria. The report revealed blood-curdling statistics of vicious attacks, deaths and kidnappings by the herdsmen.

The Federal Government must put an end to the incessant herders’ attacks on innocent Nigerians. The herdsmen are shedding innocent blood and destroying property across Nigeria. They are also raking in hundreds of millions of naira in ransom from kidnapping. There is need for proactive actions to preempt the herdsmen and nip the attacks in the bud. Security agents should curb the excesses of the killer herdsmen.

The triggers of insecurity, including the herdsmen’s menace, must be addressed forthwith. Let there be intelligence gathering and sharing among security agencies. Since the country’s porous borders contribute to the rising insecurity, let there be adequate policing of our porous borders.

At the same time, there is also need to curb the circulation of small arms and light weapons in the country. The police should mop-up all illegal arms and ammunition in the country. Unauthorised persons should not be allowed to bear arms. Only the government should have the monopoly of weapons of violence. On no account should that responsibility be abdicated to non-state actors, including the murderous herdsmen.