From Emmanuel Uzor, Abakaliki, Chris O. Chris, Nsukka, David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi and George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
EBONYI State Governor, David Umahi yesterday ordered the Commission- er of Police, Peace Ibekwe Abdallah to evict herds- men who have settled in the premises of the state’s university.
The governor, who gave the order in Abakaliki during the Agric Sumit organised by the state government to boost rice production in the state, noted that the university environment was no place for nomadic herdsmen.
He, however, rejected calls for a reprisal on Fulani herdsmen in the South East zone over the brutal killing of over 30 persons in Ukpabi Nimbo, Uzouwani Local Government in Enugu State by
herdsmen. The governor insisted that though he was the first South East governor to publicly condemn the dastardly act, the Hausa Fulani community in the state has a long history of peaceful settlement and have not been implicated in any criminal activity.
He added that nomadic herdsmen should be al- lowed to pass to and fro in the state provided they do so peacefully with- out causing harm to the people or destruction of crops. Umahi insisted that waging war against the Fulani herdsmen would have grave implications for their commercial nomads which was the mainstay of majority of Igbo traders across the country.
“The Hausa Fulani community in Ebonyi has a long history of peaceful and harmonious settlement and have not been
implicated in any crimi- nal activity. But, those who are nomadic should be allowed to pass to and fro Ebonyi provided they do so peacefully, without causing harm to people or destruction of crops in Ebonyi.
“Those who have set- tled in the premises of the university must be quietly and peacefully evicted by the Commissioner of Police because the university environment is no place for nomadic herds- men, Umahi said.
“Against the backdrop of the dastardly killings in Enugu, the governor recalled that he held 18 hours of security meetings with security agencies and warned against alleged extortion of money from herdsmen, as anybody caught would be prosecuted.
In Nsukka, Enugu State, it was jubilation galore when news hit town that
Bishop of Nsukka Catholic Diocese, Most Rev. Prof. Godfrey Igwebuike Onah and the Bishop of Nsukka Anglican Diocese, Most Rev. Alloysious Agbo with other clergymen and Christians in Nsukka will, today, be atUkpabi-Nimbo for interdenominational prayers.
Bishop Onah and Bish- op Agbo told Daily Sun, through Fr. Nnam Ene, Bishop Onah’s secretary.
In his words: “The Catholic bishop of Nsukka and the Anglican bishop of Nsukka with the priests of both denominations will today, organise an inter- denominational prayers at Nimbo to commiserate with bereaved families in Ukpabi-Nimbo following the herdsmen invasion of the area which has left over 50 people dead and hundreds displaced with scores still receiving treat- ment at various hospitals in Enugu.”