Raymond Ozoji, Awka
The Anambra State Chairman of Cattle Menace Committee and Director of Department of State Services Mr. Yusuf Ishiaku has charged communities, farmers and Fulani herdsmen on peaceful coexistence.
He gave the charge on Thursday at State Police Headquarters, Awka, during a meeting with security agents, Anambra North traditional rulers, stakeholders, farmers and Fulani herdsmen over destruction of farms in various communities in the area.
Yusuf warned the farmers and herdsmen against crisis in their various communities but to always report any destruction of farms and other matters to the committee for amicable resolution.
He said that the governor set up the committee to ensure peace in the state, saying that everybody was free to reside in any part of the state. Fulani herdsmen, he said, should rear their cattle but should not bear arms and should pay for compensation for any farm destroyed by their cows; likewise the farmers should pay for compensation for any cow killed in any clash.
The Chairman said that the committee was determined to ensure no crisis would erupt between herdsmen and farmers in the state as measures were on ground to settle any existing problem among the parties, saying that nobody was above the law of the land and whoever committed any crime would be treated based on the provisions of constitution.
The Commissioner of Police Mr. Garba Umar in his speech said that constitution allows everybody free movement and called on leaders of Fulani herders to coordinate their movement to avoid destruction of farms.
At the meeting, representatives of farmers from Ayamelum and Anambra East Mr. Anthony Chukwubuike and Mr. Ken Okolo alleged that the cows destroyed their crops without any compensation, saying that about 200 plots of rice farms in Omor community were destroyed by cattle.
The leader of Fulani community and Seriki Fulani in Anambra Sadique Gidado said that they had been paying compensation to farmers their cows destroyed their crops and promised to maintain peaceful coexistence among the host communities and the herdsmen.