Opposes reprisal attacks on Hausa-Fulani
By Peter Okutu
ABAKALIKI—GOVERNOR David Umahi of Ebonyi State, yesterday, ordered the State Commissioner of Police, Peace Ibekwe Abdallah, to peacefully relocate cattle herdsmen resident within the premises of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki.
The governor, who gave the order in Abakaliki during the Agriculture Summit organised by the state government to boost rice production in the state, noted that the university environment was not an ideal place for nomadic activities.
Umahi, however, opposed calls for a reprisal attack on Fulani herdsmen within the South-East zone over the brutal killing of over 40 persons in Ukpabi Nimbo, Uzo-uwani Local Government Area in Enugu State by herdsmen.
He insisted that though he was the first South-East governor to publicly condemn the act, the Hausa-Fulani community in the state had a long history of peaceful settlement and had not been implicated in any criminal activity.
He added that herdsmen should be allowed to pass to and fro in the state, provided they do so peacefully without causing harm to the people or crops in the state.
Umahi said: “Hausa-Fulani community in Ebonyi State has a long history of peaceful and harmonious settlement and have not been implicated in any criminal activity. But those who are nomadic should be allowed to pass to and fro Ebonyi provided they do so peacefully.
“Those who are settled in the premises of the university must be quietly and peacefully evicted by the Commissioner of Police because the university environment is no place for nomadic herdsmen.”
Against the backdrop of the killings in Enugu, the governor recalled that he held an 18-hour meeting with the security agencies and warned against the alleged extortion of money from the herdsmen, as anybody caught would be prosecuted.