An Enugu-based group, Voice From the East (VEAST), has named 139 villages and forests where armed herdsmen allegedly hide, kill and rape women and children in the South East and the South-South geo- political zones.
VEAST said that after extensive investigation, it discovered that the presence armed herdsmen was higher in the South East than the South-South and warned farmers and other residents to be careful on how they moved in the affected areas. A breakdown of the figures showed that there are 115 of such forests in the South East while there are 24 of them in the South-South.
A state-by-state breakdown of the figure indicated that Enugu State has the highest of such spots in 56 communities, followed by Anambra State with 23 villages, Imo (17), Ebonyi (12), with Abia State coming last with only seven spots. In the South-South, only two states were covered by VEAST, with Delta State coming top with 15 hotspots while Rivers State has nine hideouts.
The forests and places where the herdsmen operate in Abia, he said are Lokpanta , Leeru, Nkpa, Ohawfia, Bende, Ubakala and Owerrenta. The spots in Imo, are Okigwe, Amakohia- Ubi, Ntu, Umuowa, Iheagwa, Ulagwu, Oweri-Town, Mbaitoli, Mbaise, Oguta, Orlu, Amaigbo, Onuimo, Isiekenesi, Njaba, Ideato, and Mbano. According Jonah, Anambara State has Nteje, Ogbunka, Ufuma, Ezira, Umunze, Umuchukwu, Akpu, Ndikelionwu, Ogboji, Ndiowu,Anam, Achala, Ebenebe, Ogbunike, Osina, Okija, Ihiala, Ukpo, Dunukofia, Agulu, Neni, Ogbu, and 3-3. He identified the affected communities in Enugu State as Ibite Ogbaku, Akpugoze, Achi, Amansii, Nachi, Ukpabi-Nimbo, Ukpata, Akegbe- Ugwu, Ugwuoba, Eka-Aku, Igbo-Etiti, Amagunze, Amaechi Idodo, Ugwu- Onyeama, Egede, Adada, Nkpologwu, Afa, Opanda, Uvuru Uzo Uwani, and Adani. Others are Ugwu-Aboh, Waziri Estate- Nsukka, Enugu-Ezike, Neke-Uno, Akpogasi, Ugwogo, Ekpebe, Maradona University Layout, Ihuokpa- 3- Corner, Akwuke, Industrial Layout-Emene, Unity Layout, Ibagwa Nike City Layout-Amokwe, Heritage Layout-Oyoho- Nike, Odo Rice-Emene, New Zion State Layout, Ugwu Onyeama, Phase 11, Independence Layout, 4-Corner, Redemption Layout, Amokpo, Ugbaka- Nkanu , Aninri, and Awgu. Jonah gave the locations in Ebonyi State as Emoha, Nkalagu, Afikpo, Ezii, Ezaa, Ezamgbo, Ukpo, Ekemoha, Akpoha, Abomege, and Onicha. In Aniomaland in Delta State, Jonah gave the places as Agbor, Okpanam, Iselukwu, Oshimili, Onicha Ugbo, Ndokwa, Umunede, Ogwashiuku, Ibusa, Kwali, Obiaruku, Igbanke, Oshimili, Asaba and Ella. He said that in mainland Rivers State, the spots are in Oluimo, Uguruta, Omoku, Ahuada, Omuha, Emeoha, Okehi, Isiokpo, Oleh, and Umuechem.
The Convener of VEAST, Mr. Kindness Jonah, in a report he made available to The AUTHORITY Newspaper in Abuja, said that the number of the hideouts for militia herders were arrived at after an investigative study on the activities and hideouts of herdsmen in Igboland and parts of the South-South. He said that study was conducted to inform Igbo about the spots and to warn be careful and vigilant while going to their farms in the affected places.