Following violent arrest of about eighty youths of Ugwuleshi, Awgu local government area,Enugu governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi,has led a delegation of government officials, in company of the State Police Commissioner, to the community to seek their patience and inform them on government`s effort to protect them.
The youths who were reportedly at their farms to protect their crops against continued destruction by fulani cattle rearers, were said to be randomly arrested on allegations of arson and possession of dangerous weapons and taken to Umuahia, where they were remanded in prison custody awaiting further legal processes.
Governor Ugwuanyi during the visit, called on the people to maintain their peaceful approach to the matter as the due procedures were being followed for release of the youths, noting that government is aware of the difficulties posed by the menace of the herdsmen in the area and other parts of the state.
To cushion the effect of the attacks on the farm land by the fulani herdsmen, governor Ugwuanyi announced government`s support of five million naira to the displaced farmers in the area as a measure to sustain their agricultural activities.
Member representing Oji-river/Awgu/Aninri federal constituency, Toby Okechukwu called on the federal government to urgently consider the essence of creating ranches to separate the grazing activities of the herdsmen from the crop farms and avoid crises arising from incessant destruction of farm lands by the “cattle rearers”.
Enugu commissioner of Police, Nwodibo Ekechukwu, while consoling the people for losses incurred, advised them to follow the governor`s footstep of peaceful resolution of the matter and promised that their relatives arrested will soon be released.
Some leaders of the area including Awgu Caretaker Committee Chairman, Stanley Okeke, representative in the state house of Assembly, Nelson Uduji and Damian Ajah condemned the mode of arrest of the youths and expressed hope in the timely intervention of the State governor for quick end to the matter.
The people attracted by the governor`s visit were seen wearing the look of relief, but however displayed placards with various inscriptions of pain, such as `we don’t want cattle in our farms, we need our husbands and children back, fulani cattle rearers should leave our farm land, among others.