From DAVID UKA, Abakaliki
GOVERNOR David Umahi of Ebonyi State has charged the Police to, periodically, search Fulani herdsmen and recover arms in their possession.
Speaking at a security meeting with security chiefs in the state, LG chairmen, Coordinators of Development centres, traditional rulers and other stakeholders in the state, at ICC Abakaliki, Umahi backed calls for the disarming of the herdsmen by the security agents.
He charged traditional rulers to hold extensive meetings with their communities and warned them against taking laws into their hands as the state government will not hesitate to bring the full weight of the law to bear on anybody who attacks any herdsman in the state.
He reiterated his administration’s resolve to ensure harmonious relationship between the Fulani herdsmen and their host communities. He condemned the attacks on Uzo Uwani community in Enugu State by suspected Fulani herdsmen but debunked rumors of impending attacks in the state.
He revealed that a special security committee will be set up at the state, local government and community level to help mediate in security issues in the state.
The State Security Committee will have the Attorney General, the Special Adviser on Internal Security and Commissioner for Border Peace and Conflict Resolutions and others, as members.
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Meanwhile, Governor Umahi has ordered the immediate eviction of herdsmen from the state University(EBSU) premises within the next seven days.
He said there is no reason why cattle should stay with students in the University.
Governor Umahi spoke at the Akanu Ibiam International Conference centre, Abakaliki, during an Agricultural summit organized by the state government to boost Rice production.
He directed the Secretary to the State Government and the Vice Chancellor of the University to liaise with the State Commissioner of Police, CP Peace Ibekwe Abdallah, to quietly and peacefully evict the herdsmen who settled in the premises of the state university.
He, however, opposed the calls for a reprisal attack on the herdsmen in the south east zone over the brutal killing of over 30 persons in Ukpabi Nimbo, Uzouwani Local Government in Enugu State by herdsmen.
“Those who are settled in the premises of the university must be quietly and peacefully evicted by the Commissioner of Police because the university environment is no place for nomadic herdsmen,” Umahi said.
Against the backdrop of the dastardly killings in Enugu, the governor recalled that he held 18 hours of security meeting with the security agencies and warned against the alleged extortion of money from the herdsmen, as anybody caught would be prosecuted.