Insecurity: MACBAN, Enugu community seal peace accord
By Our Reporter
As part of measures to profer lasting solution to the worrisome insecurity in Enugu State, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) and Ibagwa Nike community, Enugu East Local Government Area on Tuesday struck a peace deal.
This is sequel to a town hall meeting facilitated by the traditional ruler of the community, HRH Igwe Emmanuel Ugwu which had in attendance members of MACBAN and Sarki Hausa, Alhaji Yusuf Sambo.
Ugwu said that the meeting became necessary in order to ward off dangerous speculation of skirmishes between the community and herders.
The monarch, who is the grand patron of MACBAN in the South East, said that members of the community had continued to maintain cordial relationship with the herders in spite of obvious provocations.
He said that the meeting would also prepare the herders on how to comport themselves as the state government finalises arrangement to unleash the newly recruited forest guards against hoodlums in the state.
“The forest guards are not under me and that is one of the reasons I called you in order not to have problems. So, this meeting is to protect you,” he said.
Ugwu, however, said that he was saddened by the activities of the herders who in spite of the kindness shown to them, had continued to destroy crops in farms belonging to members of the community.
The monarch said that he was left in tears after an inspection of some farms destroyed by cows and wondered why some herders would leave their herds in the hands of smaller children.
He said that in order to pacify growing tension in the community,” a committee will be set up to inspect the farms, evaluate the worth of the destruction and negotiate compensation to be paid.
“I want us to continue to stay together in peace. Try and protect where you live as we are protecting you,” Ugwu said.
Also, Sambo commended the monarch for organising the peace meeting, adding that the country would be better off if opinion leaders did the same thing.
The Sarki Hausa said that the herders had testified to the good relationship they enjoyed with members of the community.
“A situation where a leader will see settlers as part of their community is quite commendable. I am delighted to hear from the herders that their businesses are flourishing in this community,” he said.
Sambo, who is the Chairman, Enugu State Cattle Control Committee, said he would ensure that anyone whose herds destroyed crops would pay just as any farmer who killed a cow would do the same.
Earlier, one of the herders, Mallam Mohammed Elias, said that members of the community had been good to them as there had not been any form of infraction between them.
The Chairman of MACBAN in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Umar, said that their members would be cautioned not to destroy crops in the farms as they cherished the long-standing relationship with members of the community.