Four injured as farmers, herdsmen clash in Ebonyi
A clash between farmers and herdsmen in Akaeze, Ivo local government area of Ebonyi State yesterday left four persons from both sides seriously injured.
While three herdsmen where left with serious head injuries, one of the farmers received machete cuts on various parts of his body.
The farmer who sustained machete cut wounds, is receiving treatment at the Emergency Ward of Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki (FETHA) while the injured herdsmen are receiving treatment at a hospital in Awgu, Enugu State.
Reports say residents of the community have fled for fear of reprisal attack. It was gathered that herdsmen from Mpu in Enugu invaded farmlands in Akaeze and destroyed farm crops, which angered one of the farmers that was butchered, because he confronted them.
The incident forced the state governor, David Umahi, to ban grazing in the entire Ivo local government area until investigation into the matter was concluded. Umahi who summoned an emergency security meeting with security chiefs in the state, leaders of herdsmen, local government chairmen and stakeholders in Ivo local council, set up a 10-man committee to investigate the attacks.
“This issue is becoming complicated because if we had seen cow, we will now believe that he attacked cows and they butchered him. I want the CP, the army and the SSS to set up a committee to investigate the matter and we will convey another emergency security meeting on the matter.
“While the investigation go on, I am banning any herdsman from entering Ivo local government area until this investigation is completed and I want the security men to carry out my instruction. No herdsman should enter the place, no cattle should enter Ivo local council until this investigation is completed.
“Security people, I want you people to note it down that any herdsman that is coming into Ebonyi must follow the procedure and must not carry animals into Ebonyi State. You bring animals in by vehicles because there are no cattle routes in this state. There is no grazing reserve in Ebonyi, there is no colony here. You cannot come into somebody’s farm without his permission, you can’t do that.
“Any cattle that goes into farmland should be arrested immediately. Anybody that kills the cows of a Fulani man should go to prison for five years and also pay for the cattle. Any Fulani man that destroys the farm of a farmer will go to prison for five years and pay for the cost of the farmland,” Umahi stated.
Meanwhile, Umahi has assented to the bill passed by the House of Assembly creating two additional autonomous communities in the war-torn Ezza/Ezilo community.
Umahi, while assenting to the bill, expressed happiness with the speedy passage of the bill by the Assembly, describing the law as the permanent solution to the age long communal crisis that led to destruction of lives and property.