From Chijioke Agwu, Abakaliki
Gunmen suspected to be herdsmen have attacked farmers at their farms in Amaze community of Ishiagu in Ivo Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.
Daily Sun gathered that the incident took place on Sunday.
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During the attack, the suspected herders inflicted deep machete cuts on one of the farmers identified as Okeke Nkemjika.
Daily Sun gathered that the victim, Mr Nkemjika, hailed from the neighbouring Lokponta community in Abia State, but was based in the community.
He was attacked at a palm plantation in the community, where he was working as the plantation keeper.
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A source in the community, Egwu Chibueze, told journalists that the herdsmen had been terrorising the community for some time now. He said that on that fateful day, the herdsmen, numbering about five, had been spotted in the night around a quarry site located in the community.
He said: “In the early hours of today, I got a call from the security officer at Yitter Quarry, located at the former Setraco site at Umbro Ajanyim.
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“He was complaining that he noticed the movement of five herdsmen with rifles and machetes along the farm area, as he came out in the night to go round the company,” he said.
Mr Egwu said he mobilised the youths and policemen to go in search of the herdsmen.
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He said that as they were heading towards the factory, they saw two boys coming back from the farm with palm nuts on their heads, who told them they just spotted the herdsmen entering the community.
The source said when they moved towards the location, where they were last seen, the herdsmen, on sighting them, started running while firing in the air intermittently, to scare the villagers away.
He said the herdsmen ran into Mr Nkemjika at a palm plantation and attacked him with machetes.
“When we got there, we saw that the herdsmen had attacked two men who came to carry palm nuts from the farm, and they butchered one Mr Okeke Nkemjika, the farm settlement keeper from Lokpa.
“Seeing what they had done to that man, we divided ourselves into two, I joined some police men with one of their vans in moving to a hospital at Awgu (neighbouring town in Enugu State), so that we can save the life of the man,” he said.
Mr Egwu noted that the victim, who received deep machete cut wounds on his back and arm, was receiving treatment in the hospital.
Chairman of the Council, Onyebuchi Ogbadu, who confirmed the attack, however, said there was nothing before him to prove that the attackers were herdsmen, as none of them was arrested.
“Yes, the incident happened. The man is in hospital receiving treatment, and we pray he survives. However, there is no concrete proof that the attackers are herdsmen, until investigation is concluded,” he said.