Obinna Odogwu, Abakaliki
Governors of the South East geopolitical zone have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to approve the ban on movement of cattle on foot in line with their earlier resolution.
In a letter to the president, the governors said banning herdsmen without cattle and movement of cattle by foot in the zone would eliminate increasing cases of killing, maiming, raping of our women, kidnapping and destruction of our farmlands mostly carried out by foreign herdsmen and in most cases with the backing of some compromised local herders.
They also appealed to the president to extend the time when the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu would be closed to the end of October 2019 to enable them make adequate preparation for the airport users in the zone.
The Federal Airport Aviation Authority (FAAN) announced recently that the Enugu Airport would be closed August 24 to enable it carryout repair work on its runways.
But the South East governors, though elated that their earlier request was being heeded, said the announcement was sudden as they needed more time to make adequate arrangements for airport users in the zone and few remedial works in the airport.
Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum (SEGF) and governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, in the letter made available to newsmen in Abakaliki by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor, called on Buhari to direct the Aviation sector of the Federal Ministry of Transport to provide immediate palliatives in form of transportation with armed escorts and helicopter services to prospective passengers from alternative airports that connect the zone.
In addition, the governors suggested that the Federal Ministry of Works in collaboration with the South East Governors’ Forum should be directed to carry out palliative repairs on the major roads leading to the alternative airports and as well, clear all the bushes along the routes for better view of road users.
They also appealed that 24-hour joint security patrol be provided for the safety of the people and visitors to the South East who will be using the roads day and night through the alternative airports.
The letter partly read:
“We plead with Mr. President that we publish this letter to assuage our people’s feelings who erroneously think that no efforts are being made by the leaders of the South East to tackle insecurity and economic challenges facing the zone and to let them know that her leaders before now have been working very hard without making noise as issues of security must not be discussed in the public.”