Ebonyi State Governor Umahi Reacts To Herdsmen Incessant Killings
Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state on Tuesday, March 14, said incessant killings during the hostile battle between the herdsmen and farmers can lead to the death of many if an urgent measure is not imbibed to curb the violence.
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Umachi made this declaration at a meeting on Monday while reacting to an incident on Monday where suspected breeders attacked some farmers in Enyanwu Igwe Igbeagu community of Izzi local government.
Reports gathered that leaders of cattle herders in the southeast and south-south states, residents of the affected community, as well as all the security chiefs in the state were all in attendance at the meeting.
As a corrective measure to avoid an unforeseen attack and further violence, the governor ordered herdsmen living in the concerned community to leave immediately.
The Ebonyi government gave this directive with a view to allowing the government to interfere and calm the aggrieve resident down.
Umahi reacting to the ugly incident in the Enyanwu Igwe community said: ”It is unprovoked killings, life is so sacred. You can’t kill people as if they are fowls. Izzi people are warriors. I physically held them not to go for retaliation. The herdsmen there in Izzi have to leave the place for now until I can calm everybody down. The way we are going, it can provoke national war and it will not help anybody.
“The lives of every Ebonyian is very dear to me. God forbid, I can’t withstand where 76 people were killed like in Benue, I can’t withstand it. Some people may be fighting to die but we fight to live, let’s use wisdom and handle the matter.”
The governor said there was a previous agreement between the state and herdsmen to ensure peaceful co-existence but the agreement has been breached by the cattle herders.
He said: “We banned under-aged herders, we banned night grazing in the state. We have no grazing routes in Ebonyi which means that nobody has the right to ‘carry’ cattle by route to Ebonyi State and we agreed on that. We also agreed with the herdsmen that the first offender must be prosecuted. We also said that no farmer should go to farm with gun and no herdsmen should rear cattle with gun or machete, it is stick. We must abide by these rules.”
Speaking at the meeting was the national chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Bello Bodejo. He agreed with the governor that the state has been accommodating to herdsmen.
He assured the government of the state that the leaders of the Miyetti Allah group will meet with herdsmen across Ebonyi state to speak with them.
Bodejo said: “Ebonyi state is very peaceful and it is accommodating to our members. It has been so accommodating to our members even more than some Northern states of the federation and we condemn these killing in this state. There are minors and migrants who are causing these problems. There are also criminals moving as cattle herders who are causing these havoc. The chairmen of Myetti Allah of various states in the South-east and South are all here and we are not happy with what happened, we condemn these killings in totality.”
Meanwhile, in a previous report, NIGERIA NEWS had reported that herdsmen attack continues in Plateau, one missing, seven injured.