Panic as cows take over Abia workers’ secretariat
By Steve Oko
Cows grazing on Abia wlrkers’ secretariat
Workers scampered for safety yesterday evening when a large herds of cows invaded the twin-tower civil servants’ secretariat at Ogurube Layout Umuahia, the Abia State capital.
Although majority of workers had left the premises after close of work before the invasion, the few who were still preparing to leave as well as some visitors around the premises all ran for dear lives.
The cows were herded into the premisses by Fulani nomads who were observed making some signals to the animals as they grazed on every available grass in the area.
After some minutes of anxiety, calm finally returned as the cows and their herders leisurely left the premises grazing on the fields enroute Commissioners’ Quarters.
Wawa News Global gathered that cow invasion on the premises has been a regular occurrence as nomads still roam about the state capital with their flock despite the anti-open grazing bill recently passed into law by the State House of Assembly.
There have also been worry and apprehension among residents over the indiscriminate and suspicious movement of cows in the capital city especially at night.
Large number of cows have been constantly observed marching through some major roads and streets at night usually between 1 and 4 am according to residents.
Farmers in the subs as well as local communities in the state have constantly complained of malicious destruction of their crops by cows.
There have been reports of invasion of farmlands and destruction of crops by cows across the state but no culprit has been apprehended by security operatives.
Just last year, cassava farm of an Umuahia -based Journalist, Mr. Steve Oko, was maliciously damaged by cows at Olokoro area of Umuahia.
The cows which also wrecked havoc on other farmlands in the area completely destroyed every crop including cassava, coco yam and fruited pumpkin valued at over N400,000 on the two plots of land .
Although he had formerly reported the incident with documentary evidence to the police, no arrest has been made since then ( over seven months ago).
Despite assurances by the police that the owners of the cows would be compelled to take responsibility for the damages, no compensation has been made either.
Although there has never been a major bloody clash between farmers and herders in the state , there are concerns that if no urgent and serious steps are taken by the authorities to rein in the marauding herders with their flock, the patience of the host communities might be overstretched.
Farming which is the dominant occupation of many folks in Abia as well as a hubby to some urban dwellers has since become unattractive and unrewarding adventure due to incessant invasion of farmlands by cows which openly graze on them without remorse by the herders.