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The Anglican Bishop of the Enugu Ecclesiastical Province, Dr. Emmanuel Chukwuma, on Wednesday led a peaceful protest against the recent killings by herdsmen in the South East.
Joined by other clergymen and concerned Enugu State residents, the group marched through the major streets of Enugu to protest Monday’s attack of Nimbo in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State.
The group urged security agencies in the state to live up to their duty of protecting people’s lives and property.
Speaking with newsmen, Chukwuma encouraged Christians to intensify their prayers to conquer the challenge as “the Igbo cannot stay in their land and become strangers”.
He added: “The people of South East should stop patronising, empowering and engaging strangers in menial jobs so that they will stop killing our people.
“The state Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, said that we should pray and fast but prayer without action is nothing.
“So we are praying and matching it with action to sensitise our people to rise to this situation because enough is enough.
“If these senseless killings continue unabated, we will not hesitate to go after the herdsmen anywhere they are and we shall declare serious war against them.
“If Boko Haram subsides in the North, they cannot come down to the East and disguise themselves as herdsmen.”
A concerned citizen, Dr. Mc-Ginger Ibeneme, expressed anger with the killing of innocent citizens doing their lawful businesses.
Ibeneme said: “If we have committed any crime, we should be told why we are being killed like animals.
“Is it a crime for us to be Nigerians?
“If that is the case, tell us so that we will change country.
“If it is not a crime to be a Nigerian, then protect us.
“Where are the South East governors?
“Why is everybody silent.
“My people are being killed everyday.
“Women are raped and farmers have their crops destroyed on daily basis.
“Nobody has the monopoly of violence.
“This cannot go on in Enugu.
“People should defend their rights, if the security agents fail us.
“Where are our governors and the legislators?
“We do not want grammar anymore.
“We want to live in peace and to go about our lawful business.”
In his remarks when the group visited his office, the Managing Director of the Enugu State Broadcasting Service, Chukwma Ogbonna, expressed shock over the recent incident.
Ogbonna commended the clergymen for the peaceful demonstration, which he said would go a long way to curb the menace.
He said: “This ugly development is intolerable.
“This daily news of killing, rape and destruction by the herdsmen cannot continue unchecked.
“It is high time the Federal Government took the necessary step to arrest the situation as people cannot continue to watch their loved ones butchered like animals.”