Umahi Warns Against Destruction Of Natives Farm By Headers.

By Mbam Ogodo, Abakaliki

Ebonyi state Governor, Chief David Umahi has warned against destruction of natives' farm produce by herders and killing of cattle by their host communities.

The Governor handed down the warning in a meeting between Ebonyi state government and the National leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria at the International Conference centre, Abakaliki.

He announced that the state has banned night grazing and underage cattle rearing, adding that anybody caught indulging in that will be arrested and prosecuted.

Umahi charged community leaders to be up and doing in the discharge of their duties for great responsibility lies on them.

He said, "If you, a community leader and your people go to kill cow and we agree on what to pay and you refused to pay, if you are a herdsman and you go and destroy farm crops and we say you need to pay and you refused to pay, such thing will not happen in Ebonyi state.

“Miyetti Allah must look into the movements of herdsmen from another state into Ebonyi State. Does it mean that Enugu State doesn’t have pasture? Doesn't Abia State have pasture?

" It's an act of provocation and we will not allow that. We have to fight those who are coming into the state to destroy the peaceful co-existence between us and the herdsmen, who have lived with us in this state for long.

"The National Secretary has said it all; he said you have two choices. These people are not from Nigeria, they are migrating; they are going with sophisticated weapons.

"You have a choice of stopping them or reporting to security agents to also stop them, because when they destroy things, we say is the Fulani people that did it. It is wrong. So, let us solve our problems by ourselves; let us show more understanding, let us live in peace."

Also speaking at the meeting, the National Secretary of MACBAN, Baba Othman Ngelzarma, said farming and pastoralism had been created by God to co-exist, adding that the two were inseparable.

According to him, the leadership of MACBAN would not fold its hands and watch its members unleash terror on their host communities, saying it would equally be unfair for host communities to treat its members, unfairly.

The enlarged security meeting had leaders of herdsmen, security chiefs and stakeholders in the state, in attendance