We 'll not force herdsmen out of Ebonyi - Umahi
Ebonyi State Governor, David Umahi, has said that his government and people would not force Fulani herdsmen out of the state for fear of attack.
He said that that the Fulani herdsmen have been living peacefully in some parts of the state for decades.
According to him, although there had been minor cases of skirmishes between herdsman and some communities over grazing related matters, not all herdsmen are violent and criminal.
Umahi spoke Tuesday during a state security council meeting with traditional rulers, council chairmen, members of the state executive council, commissioner of police, representatives of Directorate of state security, Immigration, the military, and civil defence.
His words at the parley held at the International Conference Centre, Abakaliki: "We are not asking them to go out of our state, because not all herdsmen are criminal and violent. We have been living with them for decades now with no serious problem except for some minor issues which often resolved amicably."
Umahi warned traditional and community leaders against entering into grazing agreement with herdsmen, noting that one of the causes of clashes between communities and herdsmen is botched agreement.
"Our traditional rulers should at no time enter into agreement with the herdsmen for grazing. Some of these clashes result from broken agreement between them and the herdsman," he said.
He further directed all the traditional and communities leaders in the state to hold comprehensive security meetings in their localities to find suitable ways to checkmate attacks.
He denied the speculations in some quarters that Ebonyi is one of the states to be attacked by herdsmen, saying that although there had been pockets of disagreement betwen herdsmen in the state and some communities, the rumours of imminent attacks were unfounded.
He promised to meet the Hausa Community with the security agencies in the state to explore ways of ensuring harmonious relationship between them and the people of Ebonyi State.