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Anam: Anambra ends herdsmen, farmers’ clashes

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Anambra legislators call for drastic measures

ANAMBRA State Government has resolved the crisis that broke out over the weekend between herdsmen and crop farmers in Anam community of Anambra West Local Government Area even as the state lawmakers condemned the attack.

Details of the crisis resolution  was contained in a release signed by the state’s Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, C. Don Adinuba, which explained that the swift resolution followed the directive by Governor Willie Obiano to the Anambra State Security Council to bring the crisis to an end immediately and find out both the immediate and remote causes of the crisis and proffer suggestions on how to address them, so that a similar crisis will not erupt in the state in the future.

The statement further noted that following the governor’s directive, the state Commissioner of Police, the state Director of the Department of State Security, the Commanders of the Army and Naval formations in the state, the state Commandant of the National Security and Civil Defence Corps, the Special Adviser to the governor on Security as well as the Special Assistant to the governor on Security led other state Security Council members to end the dispute quickly.

According to the statement, meaningful discussions were held with leaders of Anam town and those of the herdsmen. It was apparent that the crisis was precipitated by the entry of some herdsmen from a neighbouring state into Anambra State without following the protocol guiding the conduct of herdsmen in the state.

“For instance, they entered Anam without informing the local leaders of the herdsmen association who would have registered them as members and inform them of the rules of doing cattle business in Anambra State. The consequence was that the new entrants violated the rules in a repugnant manner and caused a breach of the peace.

“Anambra State has for years adopted a Code of Conduct for herdsmen and crop farmers in the state which has proved exceedingly effective in determining the excellent relations between these groups of people because both the spirit and letter of the code are widely acknowledged to be just and fair and the implementation done even-handedly and transparently.

The faithful implementation of this code is considered one of the reasons our state has over the years been free of the clashes between herdsmen and crop farmers experienced in different parts of the country.

The state government however, noted that last week’s incident in Anam was odd and deeply regret the occurrence. “While commiserating with victims, we will not leave any person or group of persons in doubt about the determination and capacity of the state government to bring the culprits to book and make them feel the full weight of the law.

Government, then notes with dissatisfaction that the reports in a section of the media about the scope and dimension of the crisis in Anam were exaggerated. “The section of the media would have done a better job if the journalists who reported the incident had bothered to speak to any government official to obtain the facts and therefore have a fuller picture of what transpired. The state government operates an open door policy and enjoys an excellent relationship with the media.

“It is, therefore, irregular that reports on a matter as sensitive and grave as the security situation in the state could be written and published without the authors seeking to obtain the government position. The media must at all times be alive to their social responsibility, especially in these trying times. This is not the time for sensationalism.

The release stated that state government thanked all the people and groups that contributed to the successful resolution of the crisis last week in Anam between herdsmen and crop farmers.

“We thank in particular the traditional rulers in the Anam community, the presidents general of town unions, the security agencies and ndi Anambra at home and abroad who, as usual, displayed a healthy interest in the affairs of their beloved state which remains Nigeria’s safest and most peaceful state. The Good Lord will continue to protect, guide and bless us all”, Adinuba concluded.

The lawmakers however, described the incident as abomination where cattle will enter into someone farmland and destroy the plants which has now been converted to killing and beheading. They urged the federal and state governments to take proactive measures that will put an end to the killings, noting that some measures have been taking in the past and more serious action needs to be taken this time.

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