A 14-year-old girl, simply identified as Favour, who hails from Umuifi community of Anioma-Isu in Onicha local government area of Ebonyi State, Tuesday, disclosed how she was raped by a Fulani herdsman.
The victim, a student of Union Secondary School, Agueke-Isu in the area was allegedy raped in a bush where she went to get vegetables.
Favour, who said she has been sad over the incident, however, called on the state government to look into the activities of Fulani herdsmen in Umuifi community in order to avert any negative episode involving young girls in the near future.
Narrating her ordeal, favour said: “I went to the farm to fetch vegetables when I was attacked by a Fulani herdsman.
“He came to our farm with his cows; he asked me if I were with water and food, I said no; he now went and got more cows to surround me; he told me that if I allow him to have sex with him, that he will give me N700. I refused and started running away. He chased me and used the back of his cutlass on my back so I fell and he raped me.
“I feel sad; I want the government to come to my aid as young girls
like me are no longer safe to go the farm and help our parents; government should make sure the arrested Fulani herdsmen are prosecuted according to the law. Every Fulani herdsman with bad intention should be made to leave our land,” she stated.
It was also gathered that the victim has been taken to an undisclosed hospital for treatment.
In a swift reaction, the Chairman of the community, Festus Nwachukwu confirmed the incident.
He described the activities of Fulani herdsmen in Umuifi Anioma-Isu community as a threat to the agricultural revolution of the state.
He noted that the herdsmen had been destroying their farm produce and threatening the peaceful coexistence of the Onicha people.
According to him, even though the suspect had been arrested by the
police, “the act that was committed by the Fulani herdsman is an abomination to our land and we are going to carry out a cleansing ceremony on the land so that it will remain fertile.
“The Fulani herdsmen are destroying our farms; if you want to talk to them they will threaten you with knives; our major occupation is farming; we can no more farm because of this menace; they are fond of using their cows to destroy our farmlands and crops.
“The government policies on agriculture are being threatened in Onicha LGA. I came back from church on Sunday of 9th April and learnt that this girl was raped by a Fulani man when she went to the farm to get vegetables.
“What has happened is an abomination in our land; the man has damaged the fertility of the land and we are going to use cows, fouls and many cartons of beers and palm wine to bless the land.”
Meanwhile, the State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Loveth Odah denied knowledge of the incident, adding that she has contacted the divisional police command within the area but no such case was reported to them.
She reiterated the commitments of the Ebonyi police command to get to the root of the incident.