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Monday, 16 May 2016

MY SHOCKING JOURNEY TO THE CONQUERED AND ISLAMIZED NIMBO IN UZO-UWANI ENGUGU STATE

MY SHOCKING JOURNEY TO THE CONQUERED AND ISLAMIZED NIMBO IN UZO-UWANI ENGUGU STATE

By Ifeanyi Chijioke
For Family Writers

I saw shocking things on my way to Nimbo, I embraced fear and had my heart on my hand, and I was not a man because fear and shock narrowed me down to nothing. At first I was strong-hearted because I knew there would be sufficient security but I was wrong because security is even a threat to my life. Carrying my own gun was safer but I neither knew how to pull a trigger. When I made up my mind to visit Nimbo, I told a friend of mine, should anything happen to me; people will know where to find me. I am not a coward, I was who broke the news of the attack, a close friend called me that morning, and I heard the sound of the sporadic gun-shot’ over the phone. Telling my friend before going was a good decision, at least my corpse can be respectfully buried with Biafran flag. That is where it has gotten to; Nigeria is a threat to a Biafran life. Nimbo residents are now ready to trade anything for their lives; they saw horror and would accept Islam to be free from the hands of Fulani herdsmen terrorists. This is pure Islamization process.

Nimbo is a small community in Uzo-uwani L.G.A of Enugu state; it has a lone tarred road which leads to Nsukka and to Onitsha on a reverse. The popular Agbani is the signature community, from the signature community; you get to Opanga and then see the now dead Nimbo community. The community is known for farming alone and while the community leader was being interviewed by me, he clearly stated that they have a fertile land that does not need manure. This is clearly why Fulani herdsmen persisted that they won’t leave the community. From my investigation, the community noted that every effort to call the Fulani herdsmen for truce failed before the attack. They lamented that the Fulani herdsmen only needed their fertile land and became poised to attack and chase them away. Nimbo community land feeds the cow of the herdsmen due to its fertility that makes a greener pasture. I will not state their lamentations as I will title my investigations which will sequentially be coming on Biafra Herald.

I took off my journey when I got to Onitsha in the early hours of Tuesday morning, drove along Otuocha expressway as I investigatively looked around. The road was calm and deserted; I thought of Fulani herdsmen and pleaded the driver to accelerate. On reaching Aguleri junction, I informed my friend who is conveying me that my stomach is already empty. I needed to eat before going there because anything can happen. We alighted and I set out my eyes and saw a Fulani herdsman with a machete tucked on his waist while earpiece was wired to his ears. I had a shock that took me seconds to absorb; I beckoned on my friend to take a look “is that not one of those terrorists?” I asked amidst fear of being attacked.

Then we walked further in search of a good restaurant as nobody was concerned over the herdsman I saw. I smartly met a recharge card vendor and asked for hundred Naira recharge card, it was given to me and I had opportunity to ask “Why are Fulani herdsmen here, won’t they attack people” I asked casually. Then the young girl responded “let them try that their nonsense here and we will deal with them” I left the vendor after payment and walked a bit still in search of restaurant, then I saw an army coloured van parked in a filling station opposite Anosike restaurant, I saw a group of herdsmen with their swords, and the soldiers were guiding them, what I saw weighed me down. “How possible is it that Soldiers guard herdsmen?’ I asked my friend with strings of disappointment “ stay there, this country is meaningless, those soldiers are Hausa/ Fulani including their commander, I have even watched a video where soldiers stop travelers and hand them over to Fulani herdsmen to be killed, Buhari is Fulani and this little thing surprises you” he said as we could not stop to have sufficient look “let me take a snap for my article” I enquiringly asked “ you want these soldiers to shoot us, what will happen if they find out a Pro-Biafra journalist just snapped them, let us better go where we are going” he dampened my spirit and we headed for a restaurant.
The food was not that bad, I ordered for Nsala soup while my friend ordered for Egwusi soup. This is a poor restaurant and so we just paid and managed the poor food. Before I finished eating, I had made up my mind to snap a picture. On coming out to the filling station, the soldiers had gone and I only took a picture of the Fulani herdsmen while I pretended to be making a call. The thought of why Fulani herdsmen are being guarded never left my mind. In the presence of the soldiers, they wielded their swords like they own Aguleri or are warriors of the land.

We finally turned on our engine and drove off for Nimbo, the journey was a smooth one until we got to Omasi junction and there was an army check point, three soldiers were stationed there. The endless pot-holes on the road had left our car in sorry condition, the military men just inspected our car and as we tried to move, a man with the soldiers just signaled that our car have a problem, we moved twenty yards and parked to fix the car. That was when one of the soldiers called us and demanded we provide some money or he break our head, we quickly gave them 200 and moved on. Shortly, we reached Agbani and there was another army check point, while only one was standing on the road to inspect us, others were in an open house and I observed them to see some standing and squatting continuously, to my greatest dismay, they were praying to Allah. They are soldiers from Northern Nigeria and I asked my friend when we had passed “what will these Islamic soldiers do to Islamic jihadists?” I asked him with bitterness “ Buhari is tactically sending soldiers and everything he needs to our land, write this and shout it, I cannot believe my eyes”

Still complaining, we had gone too far before we gave two security men a lift and questioned them how they function and why they did not act when Nimbo was attacked. “My brother is government o, we are under police here, and they say what we do. We were told to leave our post that day they struck and we obeyed. But I think Ugwuanyi is doing well because he doled out money for security this time around” the tattered security men with awka-made long gun said, looking more like hunters than security men. There is a clear disconnection between the government and the people of Nimbo, there is no good road and there is likely no power, no water and the community is a hell of sh***.

I got to Nimbo exactly half past two in the afternoon, we had to take a diversion-St Mary’s church, a long un-tarred road that leads to the community. A community in a scary remote area and driving down, I was convinced why such level of attack was carried out, it was the community against the Fulani herdsmen terrorists because the community is a lone one. After the lonely drive through the bush, we saw a community school and finally started seeing people. The community residents investigatively looked at us with suspicions. They are now at alert and youths were seen sitting helplessly while fathers smoke cigarette and had locally brewed wine ‘kai-kai” before them.

They were visually interrogating us, but we comported ourselves and displayed a bereaving gesture while our faces mourn their dead. From the place we started seeing homes to their central market called Eke; we saw no lady and saw only a couple of aged mothers. They have all ran out as the men stayed back, there is no guarantee that the Fulani herdsmen terrorists will not strike again. We got to Eke and police, military and CTU vans were parked. Combined team of Police, Military, SARS, DSS among others were stationed there. While some soldiers were busy getting along with the residents in a chat, some sat at their duty post; they only looked at us and never asked us any question. We parked our car and alighted gently, walked to a shop where the youths of the community are gathered, we greeted them and sat down while we try to get our contact over the phone.

After some minutes, the youths started murmuring, they are already living in fear and one spoke out. “Fulani emego anyi ife na obodo a’, kedu ihe ndia biaru eba bu?” they are clustering and becoming inquisitive to know what we came for. “I am from Agwu, they also killed my brothers” I responded and my friend added his mild voice “Do we look like Fulani? We are same people, we came to see our friend who was a victim of the terror attack” by then, the youths had calmed their nerves and welcomed us, we established our contact and they now took us around the village.

Christ Holy Church was our first, the level of ruin there was devastating as the pastor of the Church wrapped himself with a wrapper, when asked what happened, and he said “I don’t have a cloth anymore, I am naked, I lost everything to fire, I saw death, they caught me and I was waiting for my transition”. We went further to other places and it was clear that Nimbo has been conquered; families are still in grief as they could not talk. When the community leader was questioned, he replied “We lost a good number of our people, some are still missing, and we are in hunger because we can’t go out to farm again, we need help and we don’t want Fulani in our land anymore”

The youths are now helpless and living in fear, Nimbo is now a conquered community and other communities will follow. “We want peace with Fulani herdsmen terrorist, they should spare our lives” that was the voice of a conquered man who would accept Islam to save his life. What I saw in Nimbo is devastating and if nothing is done to stop these terrorists, in near future, Biafra land will be conquered and Islamized.

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