In a bid to safeguard the lives and properties of the people in the state against Herdsmen attack, the Cross River State Governor, Ben Ayade has reiterated his committment and determination to ensure that the anti-grazing bill is implemented within the state capital.
Ayade noted that as a result of the full implementation of the anti-open grazing law by the Benue State Government, there had been mass exodus of Fulani herdsmen to Cross River.
“This has become more exacerbated by the changes in climatic condition as the grasses up North is getting drier and the impact is what resulted in the incident we recorded where there was a skirmish between the herdsmen and Ugaga community, leading to loss of lives.”
“If Cross River State does nothing, the continuous exodus of an uncontrolled number of herdsmen into the state will result in more crisis. So, we must do something actively and fast too because it is causing anxiety, fear and worry and all through yesterday, Sunday night, all the calls and suggestions I got were that we should follow the direction of Benue State,” he said.
This move became necessary after the recent attack meted on a man in Ugaga community as his hands was chopped off, which later prompted the retaliation of the some Youths in the community to also kill a Fulani herdsman.
It will be recall that in Benue State, the government of the day has passed the anti-grazing bill into the law while in Ekiti State, Governor Ayodele Fayose has also called for a stiffer action to control the inhuman behaviour of the Herdsmen to a halt.
However, in a bid to ensure that nolmacy reign within the community, a town hall meeting was held and it had in attendance personalities that matters such as Yala State House of Assembly Member Hon Regina Anyago, state women affairs Commissioner, Hon. Stella Odey, DPO ogoja division, Haruna Adamu, DPO Okpoma division, Stephen, Modey Odoh the The community relations officer Head of Local Government Administration , HOLGA , Special Assistant On Non indigene Affairs Alhaji Abdulkarim Adamu who’s says Ben Ayade peace loving person and don’t condone such barbaric act and Special adviser non- indigenes Affairs Barrister Musa Maigoro.
In the words of Hon. Stella Odey, she called on the youths of Ugaga and the Fulani Herdsmen to embrace the spirit of peace and avoid further retaliation considering the fact that it’s not the best option.
Besides, the DPO ogoja division Haruna Adamu who also serve as the Acting area command charge the state government to come to their rescue before the situation get out of hands.
“If the government fail to apprehend the culprit, it might still happen again” because no action was taken.
Although there are plans by the state police command to swift into action in bid to curtail the situation which has become a heated agenda in the nation of late.
Already the DPO has promised to to bring the perpetrators of the act to book while a section of the Fulani Herdsmen have requested for the body of one of their member to be delivered to them.
Meanwhile, Fulani herdsmen under the aegis of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria on Tuesday demanded the head and other body parts of one of their colleagues who was killed during a clash with farmers in Ugaga, Yala Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The Vice Chairman of the MACBAN, Alhaji Abdurrahman Abdul, who led a delegation of herdsmen on a visit to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone Six, Calabar, Mr. Abubakar Marafa, said three other members of the association had been declared missing since the incident happened.
“The governor may not have been properly briefed on this matter. The man who was beheaded was a Fulani man and his vital organs were removed. We are requesting for the return of the head and other vital organs of Buba for us to bury him.
“Three others are also missing as we speak and we do not know where they are. Buba was riding his motorcycle to rescue his shepherd whose hand and leg were dismembered when he was attacked and killed. The shepherd is still in the hospital and we are calling for justice.”
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hafiz Inuwa, had confirmed that one life was lost in the clash with one person injured.
In the main time, Governor Ayade has directed the immediate deployment of all the security apparatus in the state to forestall a breakdown of law and order in Ugaga.
“We have already deployed the military, police and other security agencies to ensure that the situation is brought under control and as we speak, the area is calm and peaceful.”
“If the Federal Government does not come to lend its support to the state, what will happen is that they are leaving the farmers and the herdsmen to take on themselves,” he said.
In the same vein, the Senator representing Cross River State Northern Senatorial District. Dr. Rose Okoji Oko called for drastic action in order to prevent a breakdown of law and order in the state.
“I condemn in strong terms the attack by Fulani herdsmen that occurred in Ugaga, a peaceful community in my local government, Yala, which is part of the Cross River northern senatorial district which I represent in the Senate, where one was killed and another’s hand was cut off.
This dastardly and provocative act is unnecessary and unwarranted.
“I commend his excellency, Governor Ben Ayade for his prompt action and the measure taken so far. His order to the police and other security officials has yielded positive results as I gathered peace and normalcy has been restored.
“I equally thank other state officials, community leaders and security personnel for their prompt response to forestall breakdown of law and order.
In the coming days and weeks I intend to lobby my colleagues in the Senate to support the state government and the good people of Cross River State towards ensuring adequate security of lives and property.
“I urge our people to continue to remain vigilant, law abiding and maintain the peace of the community.
Also Speaking the SA on Youths Affairs Hon. Declan Ogar-Genesis lamented
” about the issue on ground, to me, it’s a pathetic one. Pathetic in the sense that “leaders” of today allowed serious matter to go out of hands before they tend to respond to it. You well know that I am a home grown man. I was born and brought up in Ugaga. I grew up in the midst of many young men and women who are described as youths in the land today. You know youths of every society around the world understand themselves more than any other. In otherwords, they know each of their members than any outside members. So, it’s important that members speak to themselves especially the “enlightened ones” amongst the group. Coming to the issue on ground, it’s something that has been on ground for sometime now. People of high position never take it for anything serious. Today, it has occurred in this form. My position is that, I wish wisdom will come in now such that appropriate measure would be taking and good action put in place to checkmate parties involved and ensure lasting peace and coexistence. Ugaga people has never been a troublesome one. In short, what other community may want to react to, Ugaga will walk out of it to their farms and where they derive their source of livelihoods.
“Ugaga will continue to grow from strength to strength and living in peace and harmony he added