Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has appealed for peaceful coexistence between cattle breeders and members of their host communities in the state.
Ugwuanyi made the appeal on Monday in Agbada Nenwe in Aninri Local Government Area of the state.
The governor, who was addressing a joint meeting of members of the community and their Fulani counterparts, described the state as peaceful and home for all.
It would be recalled that on June 30, the media space was awash of a video showing youths of the community chase herders and their cattle out of the community.
The governor said that preliminary report of an investigation by the Police Command in the state had revealed that the incident never happened.
He said that the report suggested that it was a movement of herders and their cattle from Cross River to Uburu in Ebonyi.
Ugwuanyi said that he aligned with the report after listening to several speakers at the gathering.
He said that the state was peaceful and that his administration would continue to make it safe.
Earlier, the traditional ruler of Agbada Nenwe, Igwe Francis Imo described what happened on the day as a ‘spontaneous incident’ and did not amount to chasing herders from the community.
Imo said that they had cohabited with Fulani people in their community, adding that none had been hurt and no cow killed over the years.
The monarch said that they would not do anything that would threaten the security of the country.
“What you saw was a spontaneous reaction and not that Fulani people were driven out of Agbada Nenwe,” he said.
Imo said that they had always maintained the wish of the governor to cohabit with their guests.
The Chairman of the council, Mr Ezekiel Chukwu, appealed to the people of the area to go about their usual business as security would be maintained in the area.
Chukwu said that since the rumor broke, council had stood its ground to ensure that violence did not erupt in the community.
The leader of the Hausa community in the state, Alhaji Abubarka Sambo, said that they had a cordial relationship with members of their host communities.
Sambo said that they would not fall for the antics of rumor mongers as no Fulani man had been molested in the state.
He said that the peaceful nature of Enugu State had made it possible for an unprecedented influx of northerners in the state.
The Zonal Chairman of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Gidado Siddiki described the clip as misleading and inciting.
Siddiki urged all concerned to give peace a chance.
“We seek understanding devoid of inhibitive suspicion in our commitment towards a more conducive environment for our business to thrive in a more vibrant and progressive state economy,” Siddiki said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was attended by security chiefs in the state.