FULANI HERDSMEN: Crisis looms in Abia community
CRISIS is looming in Ndiolumbe Nvosi Autonomous Community in Isiala Ngwa South Council of Abia between the people and Fulani herdsmen over the refusal of the natives to allow the Fulani herdsmen graze their cattle.
But the Fulani herdsmen have insisted that they would remain in the community graze t in their land and they have gone ahead to camp in the community and graze their cattle.
Already, members of the community are lamenting that the herdsmen have caused a lot of devastation to their farmlands and crops which they valued at millions of naira.
The Abia state Government has however assured that there was no cause for alarm, saying that the matter would be amicably resolved. The traditional ruler of Ndiolumbe Nvosi, Eze Godwin Ogbonna, informed journalists Wednesday, that when the destruction of their farmlands became unbearable, youths in the area approached the herdsmen and asked them to leave their community. According to the monarch, it was a peaceful engagement which saw the herdsmen relocate to another part of the community.
Eze Ogbonna however said that the community was shocked and surprised when one Mohammed Shuaibu came from Okigwe, Imo State, to query the community over their decision not to allow the Fulani herdsmen on their land.
“One Mohammed Shuaibu came from Okigwe. He was very furious and queried why the community should drive the herdsmen away. He said the herdsmen were ready to pay compensation for damaged crops and insisted that they must be allowed to come back to the community.
“We told them that we don’t need their compensation; all we want was for them to vacate our land. He told me that they (herdsmen) had conducted a survey of our community and found it extremely suitable for grazing” Eze Ogbonna said.
The monarch said his people are now living in fear because of the position taken by Mohammed Shuaibu, saying that after storming out of his palace, he said the herdsmen would be back next Monday to negotiate the compensation for the damaged crops to enable them to return to the community. “He has been calling me constantly on the phone.
We are very frightened that if the matter was not urgently resolved, the herdsmen may invade our community. Already women are afraid of going to the farms as the herdsmen now climb treetops to keep vigilance while their cattle graze”, Eze Ogbonna said.
He called on the Abia State Government to urgently intervene to save his community from any ugly incident, pointing out that he had already reported the matter to the state government as well as the Council chairman. It was learnt that the state government has waded into the matter through the Security Adviser to the Governor, Captain Awah Udonsi.