Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi on Tuesday said the state can no longer fold its hands and watch while residents are slaughtered like cows by suspected herdsmen.
He said Ebonyi people will confront any herdsman coming into the state with an AK47 rifle.
The Governor spoke at the Old Government House, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital while briefing journalists on the outcome of the weekly Security Council meeting.
Umahi warned the herders currently outside the state not to return as the tension from the different attacks in the state is still high.
His words, “On the issue of herdsmen, we want to place it on record that no herdsman is in Ebonyi State as of now. We didn’t ask them to leave, they left on their own, meaning that they were privy to the attacks on Ebonyi state. I have been talking to the National Leadership to please beg them that what is going on in the various states, that no state governor has control of bandits and because of the killings of defenseless Ebonyi people and they have all left the state.
“For the safety of them, they should please not return now, there is still very high tension under the people who pretentiously speak that they are protecting Ebonyi people but you can see that our problems are not herdsmen, we are still killing ourselves; we killing policemen, we are burning police stations which means that the Southeast should know that our problem is not just herdsmen, that we are also problems to ourselves and we enjoin leaders to rise to condemn this because it is a little monster that if it is encouraged, can consume all of us beyond the herdsmen menace.
“And so, we have sent messages to the leadership of Myatti Allah, please Ebonyi state is under tension because of these killings and we will want them to still stay out until such a time that it will be safe for the traditional ones to show face.
“On the open grazing, there is no need of talking about that because there is no cow in Ebonyi State now, there are no herdsmen in Ebonyi State now but the position of the Ebonyi State government is that we have a law on open grazing and the natives cannot continue to blame security agencies because the security agencies cannot be everywhere. So, we are directing vigilante to enforce the open grazing law of the state, at the national level, the Governors have said there is no open grazing.
“We don’t expect the security people to be everywhere but working with the vigilante. The local government Chairmen should enforce the ban on open grazing anytime the healthy herdsmen will return because we will confront any herdsman coming to Ebonyi state with AK-47. I have directed that they should be confronted if you are coming to Ebonyi state with AK-47 and my directive is just obvious because Mr. President had already directed at such. So, if you are a herdsman and you are coming to Ebonyi state with AK47, you will be confronted with the same measure that you are bringing to Ebonyi state.
“We condemn totally, the killings of policemen and the burning of police stations in the Southeast. These are not being done by herdsmen, they are done by people across the Southeast, bandits, and criminals and my directive to a policeman is that if you see anybody coming to kill you, demobilize the person, that is the rule of engagement. Police people should not fold their hands and be killed; vehicles burnt, police stations burnt and I want Southeast leaders to rise to condemn this.
“How do we feel if because of the killings and burning of police stations in the Southeast, the federal government decides to withdraw all the police people from the Southeast? We should rise to condemn what is evil and this is very important. Those you claim are protecting us, are not protecting us. Let us not create another monster in the Southeast, we will all regret it.”Follow us