The leadership of the Asa Liberation Movement (ALM) has called on the Abia State government to act following the recent killings of two persons by suspected herdsmen at Umuorie, Asa in Ukwa West Local Government Area of the State.
The group who called on Ikpeazu’s led administration to act before crisis engulfed the area, said the deceased identified as Mrs Nwanyieze Ogbonna and Mr Chimezie Nwaobilor hail from Umuachigide and Umuagbudu Umuorie respectively and were kidnapped and killed by Herdsmen on the 18th of June, 2022 and killed.
ALM, which is a body of Asa Youths frowned at what it called the protection Fulani Herdsmen received from the military at 144 Battalion Asa, adding that anytime they attack the villagers, they run into the military barracks and the army will protect them.
In a statement signed by its President, Hon. Emeka Adiele, Secretary, Uju Ihunanyachukwu and Charles Samankwe, the Publicity Secretary, the group condemned the kidnapping incidence and the wanton repudiation of lives and properties by the Herdsmen.
ALM leadership also noted that Asa land, a once peaceful and serene environment suitable for cultivation of all kinds of agricultural produce, and business adventures, has been infiltrated and bastardized by Herdsmen through a forceful acquisition of some portions of land by the State Government for the cattle market.
They said that as a matter of urgency and in a bid to forestall total relative peace, it, therefore, appeals to the State government to note that the Asa people are very peaceful and hospitable to all stranger elements, but not to the detriment of their lives.
The group made the following demands, “That we are tired of our coexistence with the Fulani Community whose intent is to rape, kill and destroy our lives and properties.
“We task Governor Okezie Ikpeazu to sanction the Fulani Herdsmen/Community to vacate all our bushes and its surroundings with immediate effect to avert inevitable lapses.
“That while commending security agencies for restoring peace and order, it also tasks the Governor, in his all-inclusive sanction, to direct the 144 Battalion to release any suspected Fulani Herder in their custody to the State Government for possible eviction.
“We task the youths to be vigilant, especially in this precarious time of politicking and always report any suspected invaders/unknown faces in their communities to the nearest Police Station while urging them to go about their daily businesses as normalcy has been restored.
Going further, the ALM said, “We are tired and we’re calling our governor to come in and talk to the soldiers at 144 Battalion before things will escalate to the level where nobody can control it.
“We warn that henceforth, any attack on Asa person by Fulani Herdsmen, we’ll declare Total war on the herdsmen in our land.”
They also call on Abia State Government to instruct the military to vacate Obehie market to enable people to go about their businesses, adding that for the past three days there has been no movement at Obehie.
ALM said the people cannot go about their businesses or even go out or look forward to eat for the past three days, as the army has blocked Obehie and urged the state government to call them to vacate Obehie immediately.