Wednesday, March 14

Herdsmen killings can lead to another civil war - Gov. David Umahi warns

Ebonyi state governor, David Umahi, has warned that the incessant killings by suspected Fulani herdsmen if not curtailed, could spark-off another civil war.

The governor said this when he spoke yesterday during an enlarged security meeting over the recent herdsmen/villagers clash in Enyanwu Igwe, Igbeagu community of Izzi Local Government Area, which left four persons dead with two in critical conditions.

Addressing the gathering, Umahi, who described the killings in Enyanwu Igwe village as unprovoked, ordered herdsmen around the area to leave the place until he calms the embittered villagers down to avoid reprisal attack.

"It is unprovoked killings; life is so sacred. You can’t kill people as if they are fowls. Izzi people are warriors; I physically held them back not to go for retaliation. The herdsmen there in Izzi have to leave the place for now until I calm everybody down. The way we are going, it can provoke national war and it will not help anybody. If there is reprisal attack, I will hold all the leaders squarely responsible, I will charge all of you for any reprisal attack. The life of every Ebonyians is very dear to me. God forbid, I can’t withstand where 76 people were killed like in Benue, I can’t withstand it. Some people may be fighting to die but we fight to live, let’s use wisdom and handle the matter. This is a national problem. We don’t want our people to continue being killed. We must use wisdom to handle this problem. It is very easy to say ‘I want all the herdsmen to leave Ebonyi’ but there are lots of implication,” he said.
The governor expressed dissatisfaction over the non-adherence to the resolution reached between his administration and the herdsmen in the state.
"We banned underage herders, we banned night grazing in the state. We have no grazing routes in Ebonyi, which means that nobody has the right to carry cattle by route to Ebonyi state and we agreed on that. We also agreed with the herdsmen that the first offender must be prosecuted. We also said that no farmer should go to farm with a gun and no herdsmen should rear cattle with gun or machete; it is stick. We must abide by these rules,” he said.

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