By Vincent Ujumadu
AWKA—TENSION is mounting in the sleepy community of Anaku in Ayamelum local government area of Anambra State, following the reported killing of a farmer in the area by herdsmen.
Anambra State Deputy Governor, Dr. Nkem Okeke, who visited the community in company of the state Commissioner of Police and the state Director of the State Security Service, DSS, vowed that government would unmask the killers and bring them to book.
The middle aged farmer, identified simply as Atuanya was reportedly killed in his farm, which made the people to call on the state government to curtail the incursion of the herdsmen, otherwise they would resort to defending themselves whenever such attack occurred.
Addressing the people during the visit, the deputy governor commended them for not taking the laws into their hands, assuring that the state government was committed towards ensuring the security of lives and property of the citizenry.
Describing Anaku as one of the belts of the agricultural revolution in the state, Okeke called on them to allow security agents conclude their investigation into the matter and announced that the traditional ruler of the community would henceforth, be part of the committee set up by the state government to generate accurate security information on peaceful co-existence in the area.
Anambra State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Garba Umar, in his speech, expressed worry over the increasing cases of herdsmen menace in the state, attributing it to the influx of those he described as new set of herdsmen who were ignorant of the existing agreement between the state government and the Fulani community in the state.
The CP said: “An emergency meeting of the cattle menace/community committee set up by the state government will soon be convened to fashion out new ways to deal with the ugly incident with a view to ensuring that peace and security of the lives and property of law abiding citizens are not tampered with.”
While calling on the new entrants to the area to acquaint themselves with the laws enacted to govern their operations in order not to disrupt the peace thriving in the state, Umar also appealed to farmers to promptly report any invasion on their farmlands, rather than taking the laws into their hands.
The traditional ruler of the community, Igwe Peter Oforkansi said tension was mounting in the area following the activities of the herdsmen, regretting that the ugly trend was already tearing his community apart.
According to the Monarch, the herdsmen often lead their cattle to graze on farmlands with the attendant destruction of crops without recourse, thereby jeopardizing the community’s major source of livelihood.
He lamented that leaders of the herdsmen had on several occasions refused to honor invitations for discussions to find a lasting solution to the challenges, adding that they had even gone to the extent of blocking roads leading to the farms whenever their cattle were grazing.