To forestall confrontation between Fulani herdsmen and agrarian communities in Anambra State, Governor Willie Obiano on Thursday held a tripartite meeting with the leaders of the Fulani community and traditional rulers in the state.
James Eze, Special Assistant to the Governor on Information and Publicity, in a release said that Obiano revealed to the gathering that there were suspicious movements in some parts of the state that were being carefully monitored to ensure that there was no immediate threat to the security of the state.
Obiano who met with leaders at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia said: “What we intend to do is to send the Fulanis that are living with us here to go and meet with the Fulanis in that area with a view to finding out whether they are coming in peace or otherwise.
“We want Fulanis in this committee to tell the members of this committee if their people are nursing any grievance in whatever form”.
Governor Obiano further pointed out that early in the life of his administration he had set up a special committee to nurture mutually beneficial relations between the Hausa/Fulani Community in the state and their hosts.
“I don’t want anybody to take laws into his hands. That is why we set up this committee and we have agreed that compensation should be paid for any losses on either side.
That is the way to co-exist in a multi-ethnic and diverse society. More importantly, we agreed at the Security Council Meeting that we will not allow herdsmen to carry arms.
“That is a clear directive from Abuja. Herdsmen are not supposed to bear arms. Please, if you see any herdsmen with AK47 rifles, report them early to the police so that they can be picked up,” Governor Obiano advised.
He recalled that Fulani herdsmen used to be known with their long sticks and daggers, which they wielded to protect their cows.
“But these Fulani herdsmen that carry AK47 riffles are worrisome. We don’t want what happened in Enugu to happen here,”
Obiano, however, warned that if all the measures put in place fail, Anambra people would be ready to defend themselves.