How herdsmen butchered my 7months old baby – Ebonyi victim

By Zara Nwachinemere, Abakaliki,

One of the survivors of herdsmen attack at Ebonyi-Benue border, Mrs Blessing Ikechuwku, has narrated how the Invaders killed her 7months old baby in her presence.

She spoke with our correspondent on Friday, at the Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, where she was receiving treatment with her 2years old baby who also survived the attack.

Herdsmen on Sunday, May 30, 2021 invaded Odoke Ishieke, Obakotara Ishieke, and Ndiobasi Ishieke communities, all in Ebonyi/Benue boundary areas at about 3:am and killed over 30 persons including pregnant women children, and nursing mothers.

Blessing said she hails from Isiala Ngwa North local government area, in Abia state, while her husband is from Ndiobashi community, Ebonyi local government area, but they spilled over to Benue State.

She said at about 3:30 am that faithful Sunday, they were asleep and suddenly, they heard noise in the compound, but thought it was policemen that surrounded the area.

 She said “They were shouting who are those leaving here in their language. We thought they were policemen, before we knew it they used their legs and kicked the door open.

“They asked the whereabouts of my husband. I told them my husband travelled for some time now. They said I should bring out the money he sends to us, but I explained to them that there was no money. Before I knew what was happening, one of them used his machete and butchered my 7months old baby right before my own eyes.

“My first baby who was lying on the floor, they also used machete to design his head and body before they now faced me. It was a terrible experience and I’m afraid to go back to that place.

“Government should please relocate us from that place, we are not being taken care of, we are just on our own. Please we need help.

Ebonyi Governor, David Umahi, on Tuesday, told Benue state government to cede the area to Ebonyi state to enable it move in to protect the people since he cannot protect them because they are not indigenes of Benue state.

He spoke when he visited victims of the attack at the Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital (AEFUTHA), where he described the killings as wicked and satanic.

“If they want to belong to Ebonyi, let Benue people allow them so that we can get that place and protect their lives. They will fail to protect them and still pretend that the place is in Benue State.

“So, I challenge them to make a pronouncement that the place doesn’t belong to them and find out whether any herder has the ability and capability to attack them,” he retorted.

Umahi promised to treat all the victims and shelter them till order is restored in the area.

He directed that a committee be set up, headed by the House of Assembly Speaker, to see to the welfare of the victims till they are all discharged and returned to the community.

He added: “What I saw this afternoon is nothing but an act of wickedness and Satanism.

“I do not know for any reason why people should be raping two years old children, putting knives on one-year-old children, killing mothers, killing fathers, for what reason?

“What worries me so much is that the Deputy Governor of Benue State came on air to say that they don’t know whether these people are from Benue or Ebonyi. That is the height of irresponsibility.

“We know that we have boundary problems with Benue but we have a buffer zone and this place is not within the buffer zone. These people are residents of Benue, paying their taxes in Benue, having facilities, everything in Benue.”

The governor said despite being Ebonyi indigenes, the Benue government was under obligation to protect them.

He urged the people of Benue to form their own vigilante to secure themselves and stop blaming President Muhammadu Bihari.

He promised to assist the communities in Benue with a large concentration of Ebonyi indigenous people to set up a security outfit similar to Ebube Agu.

“It is important that the people of Benue should form their own Ebube Agu to protect their people instead of blaming Mr President. He cannot be everywhere,” he said.

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