The Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has launched a helicopter for aerial surveillance of the activities of herdsmen in the state.
The governor, who stated this during the Workers’ Day celebration in Awka, the state capital, assured the people of the state that his administration had all it would take to prevent any attack by the herders.
Obiano said that before the growing menace of the Fulani herdsmen in the country, he had set up a special committee to foster peace between farmers and the cattle grazers in the state.
The committee, the governor noted, was made up of the leaders of the Hausa-Fulani community in the state, government officials, security agents and some representatives of agrarian communities across the state.
Obiano said, “This committee has made the herdsmen to pay compensation to communities whose crops were destroyed by their cattle seven times in the past. And we have also paid compensation to the herdsmen when one community breached the peace against them. That is the nature of our engagement with them in Anambra State.”
He warned that his administration would deal ruthlessly with the herdsmen should they become “needlessly hostile against their host communities.”
Obiano added, “There is routine helicopter surveillance across the borders of the state to ensure that any suspicious gathering of people(herdsmen) or curious movements across the borders are quickly picked up and analysed by security experts.”
The governor commended Anambra workers for their support to his administration, saying “if Willie is working, then the workers are also working.”
He restated his administration’s commitment to workers’ welfare.Obiano added that the state government would consider a salary increase for workers once there was an increase in the state’s Internally Generated Revenue.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Anambra State chapter, Jerry Nnubia, had commended Obiano for putting up an excellent performance since he took over two years ago.
Meanwhile, as the various pressure groups in the southern part of the country threaten to move Fulani herdsmen from their communities because of recent killings in Enugu and other southern states, the National Coordinator of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Mr. Garus Gololo, has said such an action may ignite national crisis.
Gololo told one of our correspondents, “It is only in Oyo that there are up to 2,000 herdsmen; in other parts of the South-West, they are not more than between 200 and 800 while in the North, there are over 30 million southerners.”
According to him, many of the southerners have big houses in their original homes especially in Igbo land but such houses are empty because a lot of them are staying in the North.
He said the National Assembly had intervened in the crisis between farmers and herdsmen, insisting that “if the herdsmen have not committed offenses that warrant their being forced out of the South, they should not be forced out.
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