By Peter Okutu – Abakaliki
Ebonyi State government yesterday emphasized that there was no specific area in any part of the state where the State Government had designated to herdsmen for cattle grazing or any other related activity.
Recall that on Saturday, 12th October 2019, there were insinuations in some quarters that herders in their numbers arrived with their families to a particular village in Izzi LGA of Ebonyi State to settle, and that Ebonyi State Government has established a RUGA settlement for herdsmen.
In a statement issued in Abakaliki by the State Commissioner for Information and State Orientation, Barr. Orji Uchenna Orji, the State government added that “We have neither built a settlement where herders will live nor a settlement where they will grow their cattle or produce milk. We have no RUGA Settlement in Ebonyi State at all, and we don’t intend to have any RUGA settlement in the future.”World Food Day: Farmers should not relent in food production —Sanwo-Olu
The statement read in part: “The attention of Ebonyi State Government has been drawn to online circulations by a group of frustrated elements whose objective is to paint the Government black by selling a dummy to unsuspecting members of the public.
“Their posts on the 12/10/2019 gave false impressions that herders in their numbers arrived with their families to a particular village in Izzi LGA of Ebonyi State to settle and that Ebonyi State Government has established a RUGA settlement for herdsmen. Our reaction has become necessary in view of the sensitivity of the matter to the collective peace and coexistence of our people.
“The State Government states in clear terms that the narratives of these online propagandists are nothing but the figment of the imagination of the mischief makers. Their online circulations are totally unfounded, absolutely irresponsible, without foundation and criminally woven to paint Ebonyi State government black before its citizenry.
“Contrary to the spiritless fabrication of these political jobbers, what happened on 12/10/2019 was the normal movement of cattle rearers who were in transit from their temporary camp at the Centenary City Abakaliki to a neighbouring state, where they have found more conducive for their Cattle’s livelihood.
“These herdsmen once camped in a government reserved area at the Centenary City, Abakaliki but when the government started to develop the place for government use as agreed, the herdsmen on their volition decided to look for greener pasture elsewhere in a neighbouring state.
“This movement is well known to the Myetti Allah Association and it has nothing to do with RUGA settlement and there was never a misunderstanding leading to this voluntary decision of the herdsmen.Adamawa senator lauds Buhari’s suspension of foreign trips for cabinet members
For the avoidance of doubt, there is no specific area in any part of Ebonyi state where the State Government designated to herdsmen for cattle grazing.
“We have neither built a settlement where herders will live nor a settlement where they will grow their cattle or produce milk. We have no RUGA Settlement in Ebonyi State at all, and we don’t intend to have any RUGA settlement in the future.
“We have continued to build on the peace and co-existence that long existed between the farmers and the traditional cattle rearers and we have remained resolute in our enforcement of the farmers/ herders rules for the peaceful grazing of cattle in Ebonyi State.
“We know the antics of these detractors who are in the habit of twisting facts and ridiculously bending the truth to secure cheap blackmail against our government and thus attract recognition or sow a seed of discord between our government and the citizenry. But they have suffered colossal and woeful failure in their antics as their outcomes have always been stillborn.
“We chide their antics as a concoction of malicious fabrication that can only be orchestrated by empty brains who have allowed the devil to use their faculties as a breeding ground and workshop for dirty dealings.
“We advise these idle minds to have a change of character before it is too late, as our Government is unshaken and can never be distracted in its social contract of giving her people the best at all times. We urge members of the public to treat these propagandists as vagabonds who are seeking for attention and who have decided to offer themselves as tools in the hands of the devil to fight against light and progress, a battle which they will never ever win. Our eyes are on the ball.” Ends