Again, Imo monarchs shiver over herdsmen attacks

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Scores of traditional rulers in Imo State, are currently shivering over the threats by Fulani herdsmen in the state. Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Ezike. It is now the turn of traditional rulers in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state, who were troubled over the unsavory reports from their subjects on the activities of Fulani herdsmen in their communities. It will be recalled that South-East Voice had reported last week, that the residents of Okigwe Local Government Area protested over the said killings and destruction of their farms by herdsmen. An incident which got to the level where the farmers in some parts of Okigwe, were said to have stopped harvesting their crops over fear of attacks. It is worrisome that tension is growing in the land despite all the promises by the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Ezike, to secure lives and property of the people of the state. It is also disturbing that the threats are coming months after Imo State Chairman of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Mr. Abdullah Diko, apologised to Imo people over the attacks by herders in the state. For the Owerri North incident, it may not be the first time the Fulani herdsmen were said to have invaded the communities but it may be the first time the traditional rulers of Owerri North, were forced to have an emergency meeting seeking for solutions to the plethora of threats to their lives and property. The Transition Committee Chairman of Owerri North Local Government Area, Mr. Kelechi Offurum was said to have attended the meeting. It also witnessed in attendance, some of the stakeholders and traditional rulers in the community, Eze Seen Onwukwe of Ozimba Autonomous Community, Eze Malachy Onu (Agbala). Also, Eze C. A. Nwamara (Azaraubo), Eze B. O. Nelson (Mbaoma) among others. Offurum told South-East Voice: “We are acting fast. This is what we call proactive measure to nip in the bud any attempt that could lead to loss of lives and property.” Observing that the peace in the area is threatened, the Transition Committee Chairman said: “Misunderstanding is brewing up but we want to sustain the longstanding peaceful coexistence among the people and the Fulani herdsmen.” Reports have shown that attacks by Fulani herdsmen in the state have increased as the people wait endlessly to be protected by the security agencies. Many were of the view that the Imo State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Chris Ezike, should show more commitment in the fight against hardsmen attacks in the state, by adopting workable strategies to end the unrestrained activities of the herders. Some warned that if the trend continued unchecked, the host communities may be angered into self-defence just to be alive while some praised the Commissioner of Police, Ezike, for the meeting it held with the different stakeholders in finding solutions to the challenges posed by herdsmen in the state. They suggested that the meeting should have been followed with an appropriate action. However, reports by Southeast voice, confimed that apart from Okigwe and Owerri North Local government areas. Other areas that were said to have had attacks by the Fulani herdsmen, included Owerri west, Ohaji/Egbema, Ideato North local government areas.

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