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Gunmen Terrorise Eha-Amufu Community In Enugu, Kill One, Kidnap Four, Including 12-Year-Old Girl

Posted by Samuel on Wed 26th Jun, 2024 -

The gunmen, estimated to be around 10 in number, allegedly came from neighbouring Benue State and took over an abandoned military checkpoint, wreaking havoc for three days.

Eha-Amufu community

A suspected militia group has attacked Eha-Amufu community in Isi-Uzo local government area of Enugu State, leading to the death of one middle-aged man and the abduction of four individuals, including a 12-year-old girl.

The gunmen, estimated to be around 10 in number, allegedly came from neighbouring Benue State and took over an abandoned military checkpoint, wreaking havoc for three days.

According to community sources, the siege occurred between Monday, June 17, and the morning of Thursday, June 20, during the Id el Kabir holiday, with no intervention from the police or soldiers deployed to the area since 2023.

This incident follows previous attacks by armed men suspected to be herdsmen and their local collaborators from Benue State, which led to the displacement of seven autonomous communities in Eha-Amufu.

A resident of Eha-Amufu, Chika Omorie, has identified the young man killed by the assailants as Chukwuemeka Miracle from Amede Autonomous community.

According to Omorie, who spoke to SaharaReporters on Wednesday, Miracle was attacked and killed while returning to Eha-Amufu from Obeagu, where he had gone to trade.

He was reportedly shot dead by the gunmen, who have been terrorising the community.

The incident has triggered widespread outrage and apprehension among the community, prompting residents to urgently call for enhanced security measures to ensure their safety and safeguard their property.

Omorie said: "He went to Obeagu, a neighbouring community in Ebonyi State. So when he was coming back to Eha-Amufu, he carried two women including the 12-year-old girl who was going back to school.

“On getting to the checkpoint, the bandits who some were on military uniforms intercepted them.

"While the women could not run, Miracle took to his heels, trying to escape. Unfortunately, he didn't know that the bandits were many and grouped themselves. So, when he escaped the first group, the second group intercepted and killed him. The little girl identified as Chidiogo Ekpe and old woman were abducted to Benue State."

SaharaReporters reports that on Wednesday, June 19, some gunmen kidnapped two individuals: Mr. Ogenyi Francis Onyema from Amofia village in Umuhu-Eha-Amufu autonomous community, who was on his way to his farm, and another person from Imo State, a student of the Federal College of Education, Eha-Amufu.

This incident came as a grim reminder of the community's vulnerability, as Chidiogo's nephew was killed in a similar attack by suspected herdsmen in 2021 in Obeagu community.

A former chairman of Isi-Uzo local government, Chief Eric Ebeh, who narrowly escaped the attack, described the incident as "horrific and terrifying", highlighting the trauma and fear that the community is experiencing.

Ebeh, who spoke to SaharaReporters on Wednesday on the telephone, said the bandits riddled his car with bullets.

He described the attack as a kidnap attempt, adding that the bullets burst all his tyres. The gunmen were about 10 heavily armed with AK- 47 rifles.

"My own attack happened last Monday. It appears I was the first person they attacked. I went to the village with my relation, a lawyer who came from Abuja. Immediately after I entered Eha-Amufu from Ebonyi boundary, I passed a military checkpoint but nobody was at that checkpoint.

"After two poles or thereabouts, I saw about five boys in my front. Instantly, I sensed danger and immediately I started reversing but because of all the heavy logs of wood the soldiers left on the roads, they were able to shoot at my car.

“In the confusion, I veered off the road. All my tyres had burst and because of the bullets they rained on my car, they felt they had gotten me.

"In the middle of the confusion, I managed through God's grace and drove the car out with deflated tyres and escaped,"
he narrated.

Meanwhile, SaharaReporters gathered that the bandits use the new power line of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to invade the town.

Although, those kidnapped have been released after the reported payment of a huge ransom in Benue State, the residents of Eha-Amufu communities now live in fear.

A security source told SaharaReporters that over 237 expended bullets shells were recovered from the scene of the attack, showing that the bandits came prepared for war.

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