The International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law has said no fewer than 350 communities in Igboland are being forcefully occupied by herdsmen.
The body, in a statement on Wednesday by the Chairman of its Board, Emeka Umeagbalasi; Head, International Justice and Human Rights, Ndidiamaka Bernard; and three others, said the herdsmen forcefully invaded the communities and have set up permanent camps there.
The statement said: “There are not less than 350 Igbo communities, villages and other locations now invaded and permanently occupied by the herdsmen and ‘imported’ Shuwa Arabs also called ‘cowmen’ in Arabic.
“The number of Igbo communities forcibly occupied by the jihadists has recorded exponential increase from about 139 in August 2019 to alarming 350 in May 2020.
“By the combined accounts of the Association of the Eastern Town Unions, the Alaigbo Development Foundation and the Eastern Outlook newspaper, ‘as at August 2019, 139 Igbo communities, villages and locations have been occupied by herdsmen, out of which Enugu State has the highest number with 56, followed by Anambra with 24, Imo 17, Ebonyi 12 and Abia seven.
“In Igbo areas of Delta and Rivers, there are 15 in Delta and nine in Rivers.
“But in our recent detailed review and update, the number has exponentially increased from 139 in August 2019 to not less than 350 in May 2020, out of which 318 were factually located and presented below while 38 others were added as ‘dark figures’ or ‘factually existing but not captured figures.’”