It is a commonly used cliché that drastic situations require drastic measures. This saying has been brought to life in Imo State, in the face of seemingly uncontrollable crisis caused by the Fulani cattle rearers. The unsuspecting herdsmen who usually graze their cattle in farm lands of people, were met with an unpleasant surprise when they went to graze their cows, as usual, in some farm lands in Nekede and Ihiagwa communities, both in Imo state, not knowing that the Imo women had discovered their cure!
According to Vanguard, the herdsmen and their cows always destroyed crops in the farmlands in those areas and this was a source of concern to the women in the communities who worked so hard in their farms only for their hand work to be trampled upon and destroyed by the herdsmen.
Armed with the knowledge that just as there is no smoke without fire, there is also no problem without a solution, the Imo women were reported to have held a meeting to discuss and produce ideas and ways to drive the Fulani herdsmen out of their communities without firing a shot.
The meeting gave birth an ingenious idea that involved spreading red hot pepper on their farmland, knowing that cows cannot withstand the hotness of the pepper.
A Facebook post reported that the Imo women agreed and tasked every woman in the communities to contribute 1 derica cup of grounded pepper each. They brought the pepper together and organized themselves in groups in the night to spread the peppers across all the farms in Nekede and Ihiagwa.
The following morning after the idea was implemented, the marauders came as usual to let their cows graze on the farmlands, but were shocked to their bones when they realised that it was no longer business as usual. Lo and behold, in less than 30 minutes, they lost 15 cows because when cows smell or ingest pepper, they die. Immediately the Fulani herdsmen fled with their remaining cows and sanity returned to Nekede and Ihiagwa.
Recall that about 48 were reported dead in Enugu State following an attack by suspected Fulani herdsmen in Nimbo, a community in Uzo- Uwani Local Government Area. This led to the redeployment of the Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Nwodibo Ekechukwu, by the Inspector-General of Police Solomon Arase.
Maybe grounded pepper would have solved the problem…