Enugu Governor advocates for peace between Fulani herdsmen and farmers

By Cyril Okonkwo, Enugu

R-L: Fulani elder statesman, Ardo Ibrahim Umar;deputy governor of Enugu State, Hon. Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo; Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Assistant Commissioner of Police, in charge of operations, Enugu,Daniel Osayande;and chairman, South-East Miyetti-Allah Cattle Breeder Association of Nigeria,Gidado Siddiki when Governor Ugwuanyi hosted Fulani herdsmen to find lasting solution to the friction between them and the people of the state, in Government House, Enugu.

The Enugu State government and Fulani herdsmen operating in some communities in the state have agreed to set up a joint-committee to establish a lasting peace and harmony between them.

The agreement was with a view to curbing criminality and incessant violent clashes between the herdsmen and farmers in some communities in the state.

The decision was the outcome of a meeting between the State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, who has been seeking for ways of ending conflicts between farmers and leaders of the Fulani pastoralists.

Ugwuanyi convened the meeting against due to recent clash between herdsmen and farmers in a community in Agwu Council of Enugu State.

Governor Ugwuanyi, who played host to the herdsmen operating under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, South East zone, said the meeting was to forge a better relationship with the cattle breeders and to curb frictions between them and their hosts.

“This meeting has been summoned essentially for purposes of entrenching peace in Enugu State. It will, however, dwell on recent happenings in the State which are not only posing a significant threat to peace and the security of lives and properties of our people but are also threatening to spiral out of control,” he said.

Avoiding anarchy
He stressed that the rising incidents of violence and criminal activities in some rural communities in Enugu State were disturbing, pointing out that “such incidents are currently promoting a sense of insecurity and restiveness among our people and if not promptly and effectively checked, could lead to a breakdown of law and order as well as avoidable but potentially lethal clashes between groups or communities in the state.”

Governor Ugwuanyi said government would not fold its hand and watch as this happen, insisting that it has become imperative for concerted efforts to be made to preserve the peace and security in Enugu State.

The chairman of the group of cattle breeders, Mr. Gidado Sidikki, also addressed the gathering, enumerating incidents that have constituted sources of estranged relations between them and their host and appealed to the governor to do all within his powers to reverse the situation.

The leaders of the Fulani herdsmen agreed to go home and to later forward the list of those who would be in the joint committee from their union while the government would also produce a list from its own side.