…Accuses SE govs of being insensitive to rural farmers’ plight
By Anayo Okoli & Chinonso Alozie
FOLLOWING the incessant destructive activities of herdsmen to the rural farmers in Igbo land, the leadership of the association of South East Town Unions, ASETU, has renewed its call on the South East governors to cause their Houses of Assembly to urgently enact anti-open grazing laws, saying that their rural farmers are no longer safe in their farms.
According to ASETU, the menace of the herdsmen has inflicted much hardship on the rural farmers who no longer go to their farms for fear of being attacked by the herdsmen.
Besides, ASETU has raised fear that the situation would likely lead to famine in their communities as the farmers have abandoned their farms out of fear for their lives, saying that if nothing urgent is done, their situation would get worse.
According to the President General of the association, Chief Emeka Diwe, ASETU has written to both the governors and the Houses of Assembly over the need to enact a law banning open grazing in the zone but none of them showed interest by even a reply to the letters.
Diwe lamented the attitude of the governors and the lawmakers over the plight of the rural farmers who he said now live in fear and on the brink of facing famine.
The President General said that governors and lawmakers do not know and feel the pains of the rural farmers inflicted on them by herdsmen because they live and operate in the comfort of government houses maintained with tax payers’ money.
Diwe said: “On anti-open grazing law we stand. Our farmers have abandoned their farms due to incessant attacks by herdsmen. No rural farmer is safe now; the herders are everywhere in our rural areas. We are afraid that famine is knocking on our doors because of the destructive activities of these killer herdsmen.
“They not only destroy crops, they attack, rape, maim and even kill the farmers. That is why most farmers have abandoned their farms and this is not good for our people because hunger will soon knock on our doors as we are on the brink of facing famine.
“We have written the governors and the Houses of Assembly on the need for the law banning open grazing. But none of them replied us. We followed it up with a reminder, yet no response. We don’t blame them because they are enjoying the comfort of the Government Houses, they don’t feel the pains the rural farmers are going through in the hands of these herdsmen.”
He urged the governors and lawmakers to take the issue of anti-open grazing law serious to save the lives and livelihood of the rural farmers.
INC sends official letters to Igbo monarchs, hunters over herdsmen
Also speaking yesterday, the President of Igbo National Council, INC, Chilos Godsent, said it has sent out official letters to monarchs in Igbo nation for the quick implementation of the operation lion walk against killer herdsmen.
The INC president made this statement in Owerri, adding that it’s one step towards bringing in other stakeholders into the business of protecting their environment.