Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
With the rising apprehension over the mass killings by Fulani herdsmen, the Abia State House of Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution directing security agencies in the state to search for arms in all trailers and trucks conveying cattle, tomatoes, onions and other goods from the north to the state.
The resolution was taken as part of measures to avert possible occurrence of mass killings by the herdsmen following the incident in Enugu, a neighbouring state to Abia.
It is strongly suspected that arms are being smuggled by the herdsmen through trailers and trucks laden with agricultural products coming from the northern part of the country hence the need to stop the supply route of weapons.
The resolution by ABHA was sequel to a matter of urgent public importance raised by the Minority Leader, Mr. Chibuzor Okogbuo, who represents Bende South State constituency.
He expressed fear that if precautionary measures were not taken urgently Abia could find itself experiencing the ugly incident at Ukpabi Nimbo in Uzo Uwani council area of Enugu State, where over 40 persons were massacred by Fulani herdsmen.
While presenting the motion, Okogbuo had drawn the attention of the House to the atrocities the herdsmen committed at Ukpabi Nimbo in neighbouring Enugu State and prayed that a resolution should be passed to restrict the provocative activities of herdsmen and their cattle in Abia communities.
The Abia lawmakers also enjoined communities in the state to be vigilant and proactive in order not to be caught napping in the event of any attempt by the herdsmen to engage in murderous activities.
Aside from searching vehicles for hidden arms, the House further urged security agencies in the state to mount surveillance and set up patrol teams and keep their eyes on grazing areas and ensure that herdsmen were not allowed to carry lethal weapons.
According to the legislators, those found in possession of illegal arms should be prosecuted by security agencies.
The resolution also urged traditional rulers to sensitise their subjects on the activities of the cattle rearers with a view to engaging the Hausa/Fulani communities in regular interactive meetings for a peaceful co-existence.
Meanwhile, the Abia assembly invited the leadership of Hausa/Fulani community and cattle markets in the state for an interactive session next week to discuss ways of maintaining peaceful co-existence in the state.