*as Gov Obiano, Police Commissioner supervise reconciliation parley
A total of about Six million, six hundred and fifty thousand naira(N6.65m)has been paid by both the Umumbo Community in Ayamelum Council Area of Anambra state and the Fulani herdsmen in their community as fines for lives lost and property destroyed in a cattle grazing menace saga in the area.
The presentation which took place yesterday at the Anambra Governor’s Lodge, Awka, was witnessed by Governor Willie Obiano and the state Commissioner of Police, Mr Hosea Hassan Karma.At the solemn event, the Fulani community paid N1m for the two Umumbo natives killed in the clash while another native who sustained severe matchet cuts was also paid N150,000.
Umumbo Community in turn equally paid N1m for the two herdsmen that also died in the clash. In addition, the community also paid N4.5m for the 97 heads of cows killed in the clash.
In his remark, Gov Obiano recalled that the measure which was one of the decisions of the Cattle Menace Committee he earlier set up in 2015, has become imperative to foster cordial relationship and peaceful coexistence between the herdsmen and their host communities always.
He commended the Committee for their diligent work in handling the skirmishes that arise occasionally between the parties, noting that through their efforts, the state has remained peaceful, away from any major crisis unlike other parts of the country today.
While assuring the Hausa/ Fulani Community and other non-indigenes living in the state of his government’s commitment towards protecting their lives and property, Gov Obiano urged them to endeavor to live in peace with their host communities and monitor the activities of their transient relatives/visitors to ensure they do not cause trouble for them.
The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Karma who is the Chairman of the peace committee, noted that the compensation was to just to cushion the impact of their loss for both parties, and revealed that investigation is still ongoing to fish out the perpetrators of the act for prosecution. He disclosed that the committee was able to achieve result through the support of the governor.
According to the Secretary of the Committee and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Mr Osita Christopher, the committee had since its inception, amicably resolved such issues in some communities including Urum, Mkpunando, Eziagulu-otu, Enugwu-Otu, Nando, Nteje, Ukwulu, Igbariam. Awba-ofemili, Agulu-ezechukwu and Ogboji, where compensation of varying sums were paid.
The traditional ruler of Umumbo, HRH Igwe Ikechukwu Chidubem and the Sarikin Fulani in the state, Alhaji Giddado Sidiq thanked the Governor for his excellent security management strategy that has guaranteed peace amidst strife and promised to uphold the peace accord which he has brokered between them.
One of the widows of the Umumbo natives who died in the clash opted that what was most important with the peace initiative, was the restoration of peaceful coexistence in the community after a very long period of anxiety, apprehension and fear.
The leaders of both the Fulani and Umumbo communities later exchanged handshake as a sign of their acceptance of the peace accord.