Abia Bans Herdsmen from Night Grazing, Carrying Arms

Community leaders and security agencies in Abia State have banned night grazing and arms bearing by herdsmen in the state.
The decision was con­tained in a communique they issued at the end of a town hall meeting in Umuahia, the state capital.
The forum also banned herdsmen from bearing arms and recommended that all herdsmen entering the state should be profiled.
It, however, said that farmers should not poison cows or resort to revenge in the event of any dam­age being done to their crops by cattle, but should seek redress through lawful means.
Speaking at the event, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, who was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Uk­pai Agwu Ukpai, directed traditional rulers in the state to desist from allocat­ing grazing land to herds­men in their communities without consulting other stakeholders in the com­munity.
He said that government was aware of the unfriendly relationship between cattle rearers in the state with farmers and host commu­nities, but assured that gov­ernment was making efforts to avoid any clashes.
The farmers in the state had warned that they would no longer tolerate further destruction of their crops by cattle, accusing herds­men of deliberately inflict­ing economic damage on their host communities.
The state Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Chief Dunlop Okoro, gave the warn­ing during the town hall meeting on herdsmen/ farmers crisis in Umuahia.
He said farmers in the state had been accom­modative to the visiting herdsmen but instead of reciprocating their hos­pitality the herdsmen de­stroy crops and farmlands with impunity.
In his submission, Prof Joseph Ukpabi, who rep­resented the Executive Director of the National Root Crop Research In­stitute, Umudike, decried the incessant destructions of research farms in the institute by cows.