The Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi, has made it clear that there is no serious reason for the people of Ebonyi to call for the immediate exit of Fulani herdsmen from communities in the state, considering the fact that they are living in harmony with the herdsmen.
Umahi said this during an enlarged security council meeting at the International Conference Centre, Abakaliki, noting that the government in consultation with local communities will arrange grazing routes and make same known to herdsmen to help reduce incidents of destruction of farmlands. He said:
“These grazing routes are lands that are not used for farming, where the herdsmen would be allowed to use in feeding their animals.
“They would not be allowed to stray into farm lands where we cultivate farm crops, as traditional rulers are enjoined to map out the routes and inform the herdsmen”.
Governor David Umahi expressed complete disapproval over the attack on Nimbo, a community in Enugu State by people believed to be Fulani herdsmen, but debunked rumours of impending attacks in the state. He urged the state security agencies to periodically conduct searches on herdsmen and recover illegal arms in their possession, even as he directed them to mount surveillance and check the excesses of herdsmen in the state, particularly at night. He said:
“It is only individuals who obtained gun permits from the police that are allowed to carry guns as it is instructive to note that not all herdsmen are violent and destructive.
“We shall enlighten the herdsmen that they are not allowed to carry arms and the need for them to tolerate the citizens of the state who will in turn tolerate them”.
He also ordered that nobody in the state should take money from the cattle rearers as anybody caught in such act will be prosecuted.
Mr. David Umahi also issued a directive to the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Commissioner for Border, Peace and Conflict Resolution and Special Adviser, SA on Internal Security, to come up with an approach on how to set up a special security committee at the state, local government and community level to help mediate in security issues in the state.