Enugu state Governor,
Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has appealed for peaceful settlement of the fracas involving farmers in Ugwuleshi community of Awgu council area of the state and the Hausa/Fulani herdsmen resident in the locality.
The crisis began over alleged destruction of farm crops of the villagers by the herdsmen while rearing their cattle.
The Governor, who engaged the villagers and other stakeholders in a town meeting at Ugwuleshi primary school field, promised to compensate the farmers whose farm crops were destroyed with the sum of five million naira.
He also dished out the sum of three and a half million naira on the spot to the Awgu transitional chairman, Hon Stanley Okeke, for logistics aimed at securing the release of seventy- six members of the community, who were being detained in a prison custody in Umuahia, the Abia State capital on allegations of illegal possession of firearms, an aftermath of their clash with the Hausa/Fulani herdsmen.
Ugwuanyi while applauding the Ugwuleshi community for the peaceful way they had conducted themselves since March 17, 2016 when their men and sons were taken to Umuahia, described the crisis as a security matter which had earlier occurred at Uzo Uwani and Nsukka council areas, among the villagers and visiting Hausa/Fulani herdsmen, but were resolved through the intervention of the state government.
The Governor, stated that, “the present menace in Ugwuleshi community will by the special grace of God be settled, so that both parties will continue to live harmoniously.”
He said that he was personally moved to visit the community to appeal for calm because his administration was doing everything possible to ensure peace in Enugu, as a way of attracting investors to the state.
Enugu State Commissioner of Police, CP Nwodibo Ekechukwu,who accompanied Governor Ugwuanyi in the visit, advised the community to avoid taking laws into their hands but report to security agencies at any point in time if they found a group of cattle rearers grazing on their crops.
He assured that the police must ensure that the perpetrators were dealt with accordingly and prosecuted in the law court, to serve as a deterrent to others.
Canice Amadi, Enugu