Posted by Pamela Eboh, Awka | 16 November 2016 | 2,508 times
Three communities in Anambra East Local Government Area of Anambra State yesterday advised herdsmen to vacate their domains, saying that they would not tolerate cattle grazing in their areas this coming dry season.
They maintained that they were yet to down the bitter pill they swallowed as a result of their ugly experiences with the herdsmen in the past hence, they would not allow any opportunity for a repeat.
Rising from a meeting where the decision was taken, the traditional rulers of Aguleri Otu, Mkpunando and Eziagulu Otu revealed that their stance on the matter had already been made known to Governor Willie Obiano.
They expressed fear that as with the dry season approaches, there would be limited amount of pasture for cattle grazing hence, the Fulani herdsmen might want to fall back on their lands located on the bank of Anambra River, which they said, they would not tolerated.
The royal fathers said they were still “recuperating from the wounds of hardship, incessant threat to lives and colossal damage to our crops which we suffered last dry season and could therefore not take further damage.”
In a communique issued after the meeting chaired by the traditional ruler of Mkpunando, Igwe Alex Edozieuno, with his deputy, Igwe Udorji Ikegbunam of Eziagulu Otu, the people resolved never to allow the herdsmen to return to their land again.
The communiqué reads in part: “We agreed that we are no longer ready to live in perpetual fear of the herdsmen or condone unwarranted destruction of our crops hence the decision not to allow the Fulani Herdsmen graze on our lands as from this season.
“The Igwes and the entire communities in Enugwu- Otu, Eziagulu-Otu and Mkpunando, therefore, for the interest of peace, call on the Anambra State government and all relevant security agencies, to warn the Fulani herdsmen to steer clear of our lands from this dry season.
“We will not take it lightly if we see any cow, cattle or herdsmen attempt to disregard this all important warning and come to our lands.”
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, Igwe Edozieuno regretted the losses they suffered in the hands of Fulani herdsmen noting that his people, who are predominantly farmers, now buy food in the market because the cattle of the herdsmen ate up whatever they planted in their farms.
“Each time the herdsmen come with their cattle, they chase away farmers from their farm lands so that their cattle can graze freely. Now that the herdsmen are no longer in the area, the communities have vowed that they will not allow them to return,” he said.
He alleged that women from the affected communities had been severally raped, while men who resisted the herdsmen were fought and injured.
However, the decision is already creating tension in the area as fears are rising on a likely clash between the people and the herdsmen.
•Photo shows herdsmen.
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