Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State said on Tuesday in Abakaliki that government was contemplating creating grazing routes for Fulani herdsmen to enable them carry out their activities.
Umahi spoke while briefing newsmen after the state government’s meeting with heads of security agencies and traditional rulers over suspected herdsmen attacks in some South East states.
He said: “These grazing routes are lands that are not used for farming, where the herdsmen would be allowed to use in feeding their animals.
“They would not be allowed to stray into farm lands where we cultivate farm crops, as traditional rulers are enjoined to map out the routes and inform the herdsmen.”
Umahi tasked security agencies in the state to conduct searches on herdsmen to ascertain those who illegally possess arms.
According to him, it is illegal for the herdsmen to carry arms as efforts would be intensified to secure lives and properties of the people.
He said: “It is only individuals who obtained gun permits from the police that are allowed to carry guns as it is instructive to note that not all herdsmen are violent and destructive.
“We shall enlighten the herdsmen that they are not allowed to carry arms and the need for them to tolerate the citizens of the state who will in turn tolerate them.”
Prof. Bernard Odoh, the Secretary to the State Government, noted that the meeting was convened to ensure that the unfortunate herdsmen incident in Enugu State was not repeated in Ebonyi State.
“The cardinal objective of government is to protect the lives and property of citizens and in conformity with this objective, the governor summoned this meeting,” Odoh said.
HRH Charlse Mkpuma, the Chairman of the State’s Traditional Rulers Council, thanked Umahi for convening the meeting, noting that the traditional rulers would cooperate with the governor in checking the herdsmen’s incursion.