Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi state, Tuesday in Abakaliki, disclosed that his administration was contemplating creating grazing routes for Fulani herdsmen to enable them carry out their activities.
He spoke while briefing newsmen after the state government’s meeting with heads of security agencies and traditional rulers over suspected herdsmen attacks in some South East state.
“These grazing routes are lands that are not used for farming, where the herdsmen would be allowed to use in feeding their animals.
“They would not be allowed to stray into farm lands where we cultivate farm crops, as traditional rulers are enjoined to map out the routes and inform the herdsmen,” he said.
Umahi tasked security agencies in the state to conduct searches on herdsmen to ascertain those who illegally possess arms.
According to him, it is illegal for the herdsmen to carry arms as efforts would be intensified to secure lives and properties of the people.
“It is only individuals who obtained gun permits from the police that are allowed to carry guns, as it is instructive to note that not all herdsmen are violent and destructive.
“We shall enlighten the herdsmen that they are not allowed to carry arms and the need for them to tolerate the citizens of the state who will in turn tolerate them,” he said.
Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Bernard Odoh, who spoke, noted that the meeting was convened to ensure that the unfortunate herdsmen incident in Enugu State was not repeated in Ebonyi.
“The cardinal objective of government is to protect the lives and property of citizens and in conformity with this objective, the governor summoned this meeting,” he said.
HRH Charlse Mkpuma, Chairman of the State’s Traditional Rulers Council, thanked the governor for convening the meeting, noting that the traditional rulers would cooperate with the governor in checking the herdsmen’s incursion.