The traditional rulers of Aguleri Otu, Mkpunando and Eziagulu Otu in Anambra East local government area of Anambra State have warned that they would not tolerate cattle grazing in their areas this coming dry season, arguing that they were yet to recover from their ugly experiences with the herdsmen in the past.
In a communique issued after the meeting chaired by the traditional ruler of Mkpunando, Igwe Alex Edozieuno, with his deputy, Igwe Udorji Ikegbunam of Eziagulu Otu, the people resolved never to allow the herdsmen to return to their land again.
The communiqué read: “We agreed that we are no longer ready to live in perpetual fear of the herdsmen or condone unwarranted destruction of our crops hence the decision not to allow the Fulani Herdsmen graze on our lands as from this season.
“The Igwes and the entire communities in Enugwu- Otu, Eziagulu-Otu and Mkpunando, therefore, for the interest of peace, call on the Anambra State government and all relevant security agencies, to warn the Fulani herdsmen to steer clear of our lands from this dry season.
“We will not take it lightly if we see any cow, cattle or herdsmen attempt to disregard this all important warning and come to our lands.”
Igwe Edozieuno recounted the losses they suffered in the hands of Fulani herdsmen, lamenting that his people, who are predominantly farmers, now buy food in the market because the cattle of the herdsmen ate up whatever they planted in their farms.
He also alleged that women from the affected communities had been severally raped, while men who resisted the herdsmen were fought and injured.
“Each time the herdsmen come with their cattle, they chase away farmers from their farm lands so that their cattle can graze freely. Now that the herdsmen are no longer in the area, the communities have vowed that they will not allow them to return,” he said.