The chairman of the South-East governors’ forum, chief David Umahi on Tuesday lamented that the increasing clashes between Fulani Herdsmen and farmers had almost torn the nation apart.
Umahi, governor of Ebonyi state made this known during an enlarged security meeting between all security chiefs, the 13 council chairmen and Herdsmen which took place at the exco-chambers government house, Abakaliki.
The governor warned that any herdsman that destroyed farmers’ crop or wounded any person will be imprisoned for one year and will pay cash for the crop, adding that same punishment would be meted out to a farmer who killed a cow.
“Any Fulaniman grazing cow at night Should be arrested immediately. And there should be no movement of cow in the night. This is our policy statement. the rule is that if you are moving from one local government to another
“I am the chief security officer and I’m directing the security chiefs to do their work. If you see any Herdsmen moving around, he should be arrested. This security meeting is very important and I want it to be properly documented. The minutes of this meeting, I will send it to the President of Miyata-Allah to know our position.
“No cow should move around again at night. It is against the law of miyata-allah. No grazing at night. The law does not permit cow to move at night. And I have said there is no cattle grazing reserve in Ebonyi, no cattle colony. There is no colony. Those herdsmen that have being living together with our villagers should continue to live in peace and that’s our position. Some of them who have lived in Ebonyi for 38 years, you can not ask him to go.
“He is already one of us. Another thing is that anybody that kills a cow of fulani man will go to prison for one year and also pay for the cow. Any fulaniman that destroyed a farm of a farmer in Ebonyi will go to prison for one year and will pay the cost of the farm land destroyed.
“There will be prison attachment and I’m happy that the speaker of Ebonyi state house of Assembly is here and we have to put it in the law. Again, any cattle that destroyed farm land will be confiscated and the Herdsmen will go to prison for one year.
“And any person that killed a cow of Fulani Herdsman or wounds it will go to prison for one year and pay the cost of that cattle. Any person that gives wound to one another must go to prison for 5 years and if the person dies, such person will be charged for murder.
“I will like us to do this agreement so that I get the Herdsmen to sign it and all the community heads will also sign it. It will be a binding agreement between us and the Herdsmen living in Ebonyi state.
“I don’t want anybody to chase the fulani people away but we don’t want more Herdsmen in Ebonyi, they have over 120 settlement already in Ebonyi. Our land is very small and we are doing agriculture. No movement to farm land again.
“The agreement is that No grazing at night. If you kill a herdsman then you go for murder. If herdsman kills farmer, he will go for murder. If you wound any person depending on the degree of the wound, the person will go to prison for 5 to 10 years.
“So, this is the way we will live with the Herdsmen in Ebonyi. We said, no body should come with cow by leg to Ebonyi. There is no cattle road again, and we have to be extremely careful because this particular matter is trying to tear the whole nation apart”, he stressed.
Responding, the state chairman of Miyata-Allah Alahaji Ado Amudu said “thank you governor for this meeting; we accept what you said; this thing that happened yesterday, we didn’t know much about it. It was this morning that somebody told me that there is a fight between herdsmen and farmers at Ivo LGA, and I was very surprised about that.
“I have collected the Phone number of Ivo LGA chairman, so that I send my boys to go there and know what happened, if it true or not. This problem will not come to Ebonyi and I don’t know the reason of the fight in that area. If it is true, I myself will enter motor with the chairman and go there and catch those who are causing the problem. We will not like to get problem with Ebonyi”, he stated.