In a video clip which has gone viral on the social media among members of the Fulani community in the South-East, a number of able-bodied young men, armed with guns and dressed in the dark blue uniforms of the Eastern Security Network (ESN), a vigilante outfit set up by the outlawed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), marched through farmlands in Awgu, Enugu State. A voice running in the video said the ESN men were looking for Fulani herdsmen who were grazing cows in farms. At a point in the video, the ESN troops raced off in pursuit of herdsmen who were sighted with cows inside a farm. The video ended after a cow which was grazing in the farm was shot dead by one of the ESN ‘soldiers’. As the cow fell, dying from the bullet wound, the voice in the video vowed that herdsmen would not be allowed to graze cows in farmlands in any part of Igboland. A South-East youth leader of the Miyetti Allah, the umbrella body of Fulani herdsmen, Mr Yunusa Usman, shared the video clip via WhatsApp, with The ICIR. Usman and other members of the Fulani community say the emergence of the ESN had resulted in a spike in attacks against herdsmen in the South-East. Mr Gidado Sidiq, the leader of the Miyetti Allah and the Fulani community in the South-East, told The ICIR that more than 50 Fulani in the region have been killed, or gone missing between January and March. According to Sidiq, about 22 Fulani were killed in Anambra, while over 30 were lost in Ebonyi State. He also alleged that no fewer than five herdsmen were killed in Enugu during the period. But the claims made by the South-East Fulani community could not be independently verified by The ICIR. Police commands and other residents in the zone also doubted the claims.
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