Nomadic Fulani herdsmen have been banned from the South East. Announcing the ban after a meeting on Saturday, the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria and the Northern Leaders, Livestock and Perishable Goods Market traders, said it has agreed to ban herders without families from grazing in the region.
According to Alhaji Gidado Siddiki, Miyetti Allah’s chairman in South East, the move was part of measures being put in place to curb the rate of crime and criminality associated with herders.
His words: “Part of the things we are doing to checkmate insecurity in Enugu and other parts of South East is that anybody who is not living with his family here will no longer be allowed to graze with their cattle. You cannot just come with your cow and graze after you destroy peoples’ farms or do something wrong, you will run overnight and leave us with the problem.
“Anybody who wants to live in Enugu State or in the South East should be here with his family so that there is no way, you will run overnight and leave your family.
“This is what is done in other states in the north. If you are not with your family, there is no how you can come here so that you will not come and destroy our peace and go.”
The group said it will be shutting down four livestock and perishable goods’ markets in Enugu State between Wednesday, August 14 and Thursday, August 15 to enable them to embark on the sensitisation tour of the markets and 14 Fulani settlements in the state.
He said that “during the sensitisation exercise all livestock and perishable goods market will be closed down, either in cattle markets, Fulani settlements, or wherever they exist throughout Enugu State.”
He disclosed that a 14-man committee has been constituted to identify their members and weed out infiltrators.
The cattle breeders regretted the unfortunate incident that led to the death of Rev. Fr. Paul Offu of St. James The Greater Parish, Ugbawka in Nkanu East Local Government Area and condoled with the Catholic Community, his immediate family and the people of the state.
“In appreciation of the good gesture, which Enugu State has extended to us, we are prepared to join hands with the police, the military, and other security agencies in ensuring maximum security in our neighborhood,” the group said.