Police Chief Links Soldiers Over Fulani Herdsmen Acting As Unknown Gunmen In Southeast
Youths from Isuochi in the Umunneochi local government area of Abia state on Wednesday blocked the ever busy Enugu-Port Harcourt express road to protest alleged men of the Nigerian Army aiding, kidnapping crimes believed to be carried out by Fulani herdsmen between Lokpata, Lokpuku, Isuochi, Leru in Abia state, Amaeze in Ebonyi State and Uturu, Okigwe in Imo state.
The protest attracted the attention of the Commander of the Police Rapid Squad, Abia State Police Command, CSP Jonhbull, who addressed the crowd of protesters and accused Nigeria soldiers of not helping in curtailing the kidnapping activities of the Fulani herdsmen.
He specifically stated that he sent his men to carry out under cover operations at the well populated and dominated Huasa-Fulani cattle market and also a settlement known as Gariki along the Enugu-Port Harcourt express road, and found out that after the Kidnappers received ransoms, they do go to the settlement to spend the money.
The news article as earlier reported by SaharaReporters news media is presented verbatim:
The Nigeria Police Force on Wednesday blamed the Army for the incessant kidnapping cases in Isuochi in the Umenneochi Local Government Area of Abia State and its environs.
There have been a series of reports of kidnapping by alleged Fulani herdsmen in Isuochi, Uturu, Amaeze in Ebonyi boundary communities.
Recently, the management of Abia State University, Uturu had to shut down the school and asked students to go home till further notice following incessant cases of abduction of students by terrorists suspected to be Fulani herdsmen.
Recently, a middle-aged man in the community was almost killed when an eight-man gang of kidnappers identified as Fulani herdsmen invaded his farm plantation and macheted him when he could not provide a ransom of 30 million naira.
The gang was reportedly operating from Gariki cattle market in Isuochi, Abia State.
The kidnapping reached its climax on Sunday, May 29, 2022, when the Prelate, Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Uche, his Chaplin and a bishop were abducted for ransom along Enugu-Okigwe – Port-Harcourt Federal Road.
They were later released on Monday evening after a ransom of 100 million naira was paid to the abductors whom the Prelate described as Fulani herdsmen.
The cleric, however, accused soldiers of working with the criminals who abducted him.
His abduction, however, sparked a protest on Wednesday as Isuochi youths took to the streets and blocked the Enugu – Port-Harcourt Federal Highway for hours, demanding an immediate end to Fulani kidnapping in the area.
The angry youths also demanded the immediate relocation of Gariki cattle market in the area, saying it was being used to harbour kidnappers.
Addressing the irate youths, who blocked vehicular movement on the ever-busy highway, the Commander, Police Rapid Squad, Abia State Police Command, CSP Jonhbull, described the situation in the area as painful.
He, however, (blamed) the Nigerian Army for the abductions that were going on.
He said, “My Name is CSP Johnbull, Commander, Rapid Squad, Abia State Police Command. I was sent here by the commissioner of police two days ago to come and assist the people of Isuochi to do away with all these kidnappers – the Fulanis who are kidnapping our people.
“Our people that are coming home, they are kidnapping them. We are not happy about it. Yesterday night, I sent my men to inspect the cattle market. They go there, to spend money after kidnapping our people. They will collect ransom, they will go and spend it there. The Army are (sic) not helping us.”