Umahi bans herdsmen, night grazing

Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, yesterday banned Fulani herdsmen and their cattle from entering the state from other states as well as night grazing.

The ban followed a clash between suspected herders and a farmer in Akaeze community.

Governor Umahi said unless such a herdsman secures the permission of the Ardos of the two points of expected movement areas, as well as the village head of the receiving community, such movement is outlawed.

Umahi made the pronouncement during an emergency security meeting involving the state government and Fulani herdsmen at the Exco Chambers, Government House, Abakaliki, which was attended by heads of various security commands in the state.

Daily Sun gathered that some herdsmen and a farmer in Akaeze community had clashed in a farmland in the area. But, while giving accounts of the incident, both sides claimed innocence.

While the Fulani community, led by the Coordinator of Northern Community in the South East, Abubakar Yusuf Sambo, claimed that two of their members were injured and had been hospitalised in a hospital in Awgu, Enugu State, the Akaeze contingent, led by the Coordinator of Akaeze Development Centre, Chief Onyebuchi Ogbadu, claimed that their victim, Daniel Ngwoke, was receiving treatment at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki.

But, given the complicated nature of the matter, the governor set up a 10-man committee to investigate the matter at the end of which the offender, according to him, would be severely punished.

“If we had seen a cow, we would have said yes, they butchered a cow and they attacked back. This is a story that would have been okay. But, in all things, I want the CP, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the army to bring two persons each from their commands and the coordinator.

“Then, the Sambo and the T.A.; that would make them a 10-man committee to investigate the matter and we’ll convey another emergency security meeting.

“But, I am banning herdsmen from entering Ivo Local Government Area until this investigation is completed. I want my security men to carry out my instruction.

“No herdsman should enter the place. No cattle should enter Ivo council area again, until this investigation is completed. At the end of the day, when the report comes out, my prayer is that they would be alive.

“This is because whoever is the first aggressor will go to prison in this state.

“I will send the person to prison no matter who the person is. Until this thing is completed.”