In a bid to bring a permanent solution to the constant violent clashes between farmers in Enugu State and Fulani Herdsmen, the Governor of the state, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Fulani herdsmen living in parts of the state, under the umbrella of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, South East zone, yesterday initiated moves aimed at resolving areas of disagreement, creating peace and concord between the herdsmen and members of their host communities in the state.
As a result of the growing insecurity generated by frictions between the herdsmen and members of their host communities, the state governor who had been seeking ways to arrest the situation called for a closed-door meeting with the herdsmen at the Government House, Enugu, where the two parties reached an agreement to set up a joint standing committee so as to firmly establish a long lasting peace and concord between the host communities and the herdsmen in addition to checking criminal acts alleged to be carried out by the herdsmen.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi who hosted the herdsmen that came in their numbers gave them an explaination of the purpose for which he convened the meeting saying it was to create a better relationship with the cattle rearers and check on-going frictions between them and their hosts, particularly against the backdrop of the clash which occurred between the Fulanis and members of a community in Awgu Local Government area of the state. According to the Governor:
“This meeting has been summoned essentially for purposes of entrenching peace in Enugu State. It will, however, dwell on recent happenings in the State which are not only posing a significant threat to peace and the security of lives and properties of our people but are also threatening to spiral out of control.
“We are all witnesses to the rising wave of undesirable incidents and criminal activities in the state particularly kidnapping, armed robbery and clashes between Fulani cattle rearers and farmers in some rural communities in Enugu State.
“We are aware that such incidents are currently promoting a sense of insecurity and restiveness among our people and if not promptly and effectively checked, could lead to a breakdown of law and order as well as avoidable but potentially lethal clashes between groups or communities in the state.
“As no responsible Government will allow this to happen more so, when it is clear that no one profits from such a situation and no meaningful progress can be attained under such an atmosphere, it has become imperative that we came together under this kind of forum to exchange frank views and ideas as to how we can jointly reverse the current trend and consequently, preserve the peace and security for which Enugu State has long been reputed”.
In the course of the meeting between Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Fulani herdsmen in Enugu State, the chairman of the group of cattle breeders, Alhaji Gidado Sidikki interpreted the governor’s address to those who did not understand English language clearly and both parties agreed to set up a joint standing committee consisting of members from the breeders and the people of the state to forge a common front that would give rise to concord.
Addressing the gathering, Alhaji Sidikki listed occurrences that had destroyed the relationship between them and their hosts and called on the governor to do everything within his powers to turn around the situation.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi and Fulani herdsmen hosted by his state agreed to go home and to later send the list of those who would represent them in the joint committee.
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