The Ebonyi State Government yesterday set up a nine man committee to investigate and report back to government the remote and immediate cause of the crisis that erupted between farmers in Abakaliki Local Government Area of the state and Herders.
Inugurating the committee, shortly after an enlarged emergency security meeting with security Chiefs at the cabinet office government house Abakaliki, the Secretary to the State Government Dr Kenneth Ugbala charged the committee to conduct a thorough investigation on what caused the crises between the farmers and the herdsmen.
Dr. Ugbala expressed the regret that the unfortunate crisis led to the destruction of houses and urged the committee to report back to the central committee within two weeks.
The SSG reminded the people of the State of the already existing law on farmers and herders’ relationship and movement adding that the law was not vindictive but specific and should be followed to ensure enthronement of peace in the society.
He urged people residing in the State to live in unity regardless of religious, ethnicity and political affiliations pointing out that to ensure that Nigeria remains one indefensible entity, there must be an enthronement of peaceful co-existence.
He stated that no herder is allowed to reside close to where people’s farms are as that would bring sever threat to the farmers.
He stated that once the committee submits its report and there is need for the central committee to visit the crisis area, the committee will visit the area and expressed the optimisim that the issues would be resolved amicably.
Responding, the caretaker Chairman, Abakaliki Local Government Area, Mr Ben Nwovu thanked state government for her proactiveness in protecting the lives of the people and assured that the people of the area will remain law abiding.
He noted that the people will also comply with all the measures taken by the state government in ensuring that a lasting peace is enthroned among all.
The Council boss called on herders in the area to desist from living close to the farms as it has continued to pose as a threat to the livelihood of the people of the area.
In his remark, the Chairman of Myetti in the state, Alhaji Sadiq Gidado and his Secretary Alhaji Usuman Ishiaku applauded Ebonyi State Government for the peace maintained in the State and appealed for justice in handling the situation.
The meeting was attended by the Commissioner for internal security and border peace Hon Stanley Okoro Emegha and his local Government counterpart, Chief Samuel Okoronkwo, Chiefs, Local Government caretaker Chairmen, Development Center Coordinators and security Chiefs.