The Nkerefi community in Nkanu East Local Government Area of Enugu State is in mourning following a horrifying incident where four female farmers were mercilessly killed by one of the laborers hired to work in the farm.
According to BBC News Igbo, the tragic event unfolded on Tuesday, June 20, 2023, while the women and others were diligently working in their farms. The perpetrator, identified as one of the laborers from Ezza in Ebonyi State, had been hired by a woman from the village to work on a rice farm.
Eyewitnesses revealed that as the women and numerous other farmers tended to their respective plots, the three young laborers focused on the portion they were assigned. Trouble erupted when the woman who hired them provided them with food around noon for a break before resuming work.
David Ani, a villager, recounted the chilling sequence of events: “After the three men had finished eating, the killer laborer excused himself to go to the toilet. However, he remained in the bush for over 30 minutes, raising suspicions among his colleagues that he might have consumed hard drugs (referred to locally as ‘mkpurummiri’).” Ani continued, “True to their suspicion, the young man emerged from the forest and charged like a bull, ruthlessly attacking the women with his machetes.”
The assailant swiftly claimed the lives of four women and grievously wounded two others. Despite the efforts of the two other laborers to intervene, they were unable to subdue him as he menacingly continued his assault.
“After the brutal killings, he fled from the forest. Upon hearing about the tragedy, we made announcements through the town crier, urging everyone to search for the assailant. However, he remains at large,” Ani shared.
Ani speculated that the consumption of hard drugs in the forest may have severely impaired the assailant’s mental state, driving him to commit such heinous acts.
Expressing shock over the incident, the traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Luke Ogbu, pledged to take decisive action. “This young man who committed this atrocity is well known here, although he is a stranger. Nobody in the community has ever had any altercation with him before this incident,” the monarch stated. “Henceforth, we will intensify our fight against crystal meth (mkpurummiri) and exercise caution regarding the individuals entering our community. This tragedy compels us to reevaluate our circumstances and the presence of strangers.”
The spokesperson for the Enugu State Police Command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, confirmed the incident and assured the public that investigations are underway to apprehend the perpetrator. The community remains in shock and grief as they come to terms with the horrific loss of their fellow farmers.
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