Ebonyi State Governor, Chief David Umahi, Tuesday banned Fulani herdsmen and their cattle from entering communities in Ivo Council Area of the state following a clash between suspected Fulani herders and a farmer in Akaeze community which left the farmer fatally injured.
The governor also banned herdsmen from entering the state from other states evwn as he said that night grazing in all parts of the state is prohibited .
said that unless such a herdsman secured the permission of the Ardos of the two points of expected movement areas, as well as the Village Heads of the receiving community, such movement is outlawed.
Umahi made the pronouncement during the an emergency security meeting involving the state government and the Fulani herdsmen at the Exco Chambers, Government House in Abakaliki which was attended by the heads of various security commands in the state.
Daily Independent 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 hospitalized 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, Mr 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 cow, we would have said yes, they butchered a cow and they attacked back. This is a story that would been ok. But in all things, I want the CP, NSCDC, and Army to bring two persons each from their commands plus 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 that 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.
“The National President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association and his secretary told me something; they said no herdsman suppose to come from Enugu State to Ebonyi State without first getting approval from the Ardo of wherever he is coming from.
“The Ardo in charge of where he is coming from must first write a letter to the Ardo of where is going to in Ebonyi. And the Ardo here must approve his coming. The village head must also agree that the herdsman should come. If the two of them say no, then the herdsman cannot come” he said.