In a bid to curtail the menace of Fulani herdsmen in Enugu state, the state Government Friday agreed to set up a joint standing committee with Fulani cattle rearers to seek ways of entrench a lasting peace and harmony between the host communities and the herdsmen with a view to curb criminalities suspected to be perpetrated by the herdsmen.
The decision was a major outcome of a crucial meeting between the herdsmen and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi at the Government House, Enugu convened by the governor who has been seeking ways to arrest the growing insecurity generated by frictions between the herdsmen and members of their host communities.
Governor Ugwuanyi who played host to the herdsmen operating under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, South East zone, who came in their numbers explained the reason for convening the meeting, saying it was to forge a better relationship with the cattle breeders and curb on-going frictions between them and their hosts, especially in view of the recent clash between Fulanis and the people of Ugwulesi Awgu Autonomous community in Awgu council area of the state.
According to Ugwuanyi, “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.
“We are all witnesses to the rising wave of undesirable incidents and criminal activities in the state particularly kidnapping, armed robbery and clashes between Fulani cattle rears and farmers in some rural communities in Enugu State.
“We are aware 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.
“As no responsible Government will allow this to happen more so, when it is clear that no one profits from such a situation and no meaningful progress can be attained under such an atmosphere, it has become imperative that we came together under this kind of forum to exchange frank views and ideas as to how we can jointly reverse the current trend and consequently, preserve the peace and security for which Enugu State has long been reputed”, he told the visitors.
The chairman of the Fulani Herders, Alhaji Gidado Sidikki, who interpreted the governors address to his people, however enumerated incidents that have constituted the estranged relations between them and their hosts and appealed to the governor to do all within the ambit of his powers to reverse the situation.
After interpretation to their understanding, both parties agreed to set up a joint standing committee made of members from the breeders and the people of the state to forge a common front that would breed harmony.
They agreed to go home and to later forward the list of those who would be in the joint committee from their side while the government would also produce a list from its own side.