Felix Uka, Abakaliki
Southeast Governors Forum, yesterday described as a huge joke and unacceptable the demand by Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria(MACBAN) to establish Fulani vigilante groups across the zone.
MACBAN had requested establishment of Fulani vigilance group in southeast to combat crime in the area.
Chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi state, Dave Umahi said the Governors have their local vigilantes working with security agencies and don’t need any Fulani vigilance group to secure their states.
Umahi in a statement released by his Chief Press Secretary, Emmanuel Uzor condemned the insinuation in some quarters that the Southeast Governors had approved the Fulani vigilance group in the zone, describing the allegation as unfounded .
He emphatically stated that no Miyetti vigilante, cattle colony or ranch is allowed in the south east but that the people of the zone must live peacefully with herdsmen that are peaceful and that the southeast Governors are united in the decision.
“I find it extremely strange for anybody to think that none locals in any part of the country including South East could be allowed to form vigilante outfit . The Miyetti Allah group may have made that suggestion which I believe will never mean to form a vigilante in South East Which ever is the meaning, no Governor will allow that.
“South East Governors have their local vigilantes working with security agencies. Any such demand by Miyetti group is a joke and not acceptable . Governors of South East are doing their best and we have no problems receiving insults from our people. Is the price for leadership. The important thing to us is the safety and well-beings of our people. Opc and other pressure groups may not have found it fashionable to be insulting their leaders even when their leaders may not be saints”, he said.
Governor Umahi further disclosed that his task is to develop Ebonyi State, contribute in rebuilding South East and Nigeria.
“My calling is not to insults others for me to do these . Have we been fairly treated, no. Can we solve the problem by hate speeches, for me ;No . Nobody no matter the level of pretense can change my style of peaceful leadership. Ebonyi in particular has suffered so much even in the context of South East. We believe that we do not need hate speeches as a strategy to solve our problems”
“Finally, no Miyetti vigilante in South East, no cattle ranch or colony but we must live peacefully with herdsmen that do not destroy our farm land especially those that were born here and have lived peacefully with us. All South East governors are together in this position”, he submitted.