The Ebonyi Government has restated the need for peaceful co-existence between herders and farmers across communities in the state, urging traditional rulers, youth leaders and farmers to be law-abiding.
Mr Hyacinth Osuji, Chairman, Local Government Advisory Committee in the state, made the call in Abakaliki during a meeting with traditional rulers, the leadership of Fulani herders, farmers and officials of the Abakaliki Local Government Area.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that Ebonyi Government had in recent times recorded some conflicts between herders/farmers and communities in the state, resulting in destruction of farmland, rape and killing.
Osuji explained that the meeting was to avert crisis within the area, in line with the state governor’s directive to ensure peaceful and harmonious co-existence among citizens.
He noted that the importance of peaceful coexistence among citizens to national development could not be over-emphasised.
Alhaji Usman Isha, Chairman, Myetee Allah, Ebonyi state chapter, commended the state government’s move to ensure peace among them and the people of the land.
“I, as chairman, believe that we are one and I have been up and doing to protect crops and farmland. I have never received cases of rape and I pray that we will continue to live in peace.
“We are not here to put eye on anybody’s wife. We have been doing shifting cultivation with the owners of the land; we do not want disorder from any person.
“We have agreed not to take laws into our hands, we have agreed to stop night grazing and we will go back to our people for improved peace for a better Nigeria,” he said
Chief Fidelis Nwonumaru, Leader of the Traditional Rulers in the area said the communities in the area were ready to move in togetherness for a lasting peace among the people.
“We agreed to ensure peace if the herders will do their business according to the rules and regulations of the state government and the communities they live,” Nwonumaru said.