Foreign News

Tension mounts in Ngor Okpala … As armed herdsmen invade farmlands, threaten mayhem. Police boss moves to avert danger

The police in Imo are working hard to douse tension in Ngor-Okpala Local Government Area of the State following the invasion of farmlands in the  area by armed herdsmen.
The state’s commissioner of police, Mr. Chris Ezike, according to reports, has held meetings with seven traditional rulers in the  area as well as the leaders of Hausa and Fulani communities in the state, including the Senior Special Assistant to the State Government on Northern Afairs, Alhaji Faisal Lawal, in a bid to avert crisis.
Communities affected are Nguru, Umukabia, Alulu, Obokwe, Oburu, among others who have raised alarm that the herdsmen are destroying their crops.
One of the community members who spoke to newsmen accused the  state government of not doing much to check the activities of herdsmen in the state, citing the  Ekiti State example where a bill against open grazing has been passed and signed into law.
According to them, the herdsmen are always armed, prompting fear in the people who no longer  go to farms unless accompanied by  vigilante members in the area.
“They have built camps for themselves in our forests without our consent and when we challenged them, they attacked us”, one of the community members said.
Investigations revealed that  youths in the area are on guard, fearing a repeat of the kind of massacre that happened in Nimbo, Enugu State, carried out by herdsmen.
Meanwhile, there are reports that one of the cows found to be destroying crops was caught and killed by the youths and the herdsmen are insisting that the community should pay for the cow.
The community, has however, refused to pay, arguing that their farmlands cannot be turned to grazing lands while they fold their hands like slaves in their own land.
Also, it was said that the herdsmen beat up a youth who was chasing out the cows from the farmlands, and this raised tension between the herdsmen and youths of the area who were calmed by one of the leaders in the community.

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