BY OBINNA OGBONNAYA, Abakaliki
The Methodist Archbishop of Enugu Archdiocese, Rev Christopher Edeh at the weekend urged governors of South East states to sustain their position on the ban on open grazing in the zone as that would end the incessant attacks and killings by armed herdsmen.
Similarly, the member representing, Afikpo North/South federal constituency, Hon. Iduma Igariwey, said that every Nigerian has the right to live anywhere in the country and do his/her business.
Hon Igariwey during a town hall meeting in Afikpo stated that when such business constitute nuisance and threat to the livelihood of the people of the area, the person operating the business should be restricted by the laws of that place.
Rev Edeh said despite the pronouncement by the governors, open grazing is still being witnessed in the region and urged the governors to match their words with action.
He noted that should the ban be fully implemented in the region, it would go a long way to secure rural dwellers against constant herdsmen attacks and killings.
The South East zone in recent time has witnessed series of killings and destruction of properties worth millions of naira by suspected herdsmen.
The Methodist cleric in an interview with newsmen said, “The security situation in the country is worsening, it is very bad but it is very much painful in Ebonyi State. They are turning our state into a battlefield. We had this issue at Nkalaha, Ishielu local government area.
“There is a communal crisis going on at different places in Effium and Izzi people and the one going on in Ikwo local government area of the state. All these things are very worrisome. The issue of joint security network in southeast is long overdue.
“It has been long we have been asking for it to come. We are happy that the governors are now having enough political will but then, the problem with managing it and making it effective is important because it is not just about forming anything or a name, it is about the political will to make it effective so that it provide the security we need, that’s the problem now”.
He said the security network should receive the backing of the law so that whatever that is done is done properly.
“This open grazing which they banned must be backed up by law, it is not about pronouncing it. It has been pronounced long ago and yet, we all know that open grazing is everywhere in the entire southeast.
“They have said it long ago that they only want to see cattle behind trailers in the markets but we all know that even in our university environments, along our roads and bushes have been overtaken by herders”, he added.