Christopher Isiguzo in Enugu
A coalition of non-governmental organizations in Enugu has called on the Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, to pay more attention to the development of rural areas in the state as his government plans to set up measures to forestall more attacks of Fulani herdsmen.
Speaking on Monday in Oda-Nimbo, Uzouwani Council, the coalition also urged the government to look beyond the inauguration of security measures like neighbourhood watch groups to examine ways of facing the menace of the herdsmen.
It also asked the government not be in a hurry to conclude the matter of Nimbo but to use it as an excuse to review its policy on development of rural areas.
According to the Executive Director of the Carmelites Prisoners’ Interest Organisation (CAPIO), Rev. Fr. Ambrose Ekeroku, who led the coalition of NGOs to donate relief materials to the victims of the attack by herdsmen: “It is evident that life in the rural areas has remained rustic where the inhabitants lack even the most basic of amenities, while those in the metropolis have a surfeit of such amenities. That situation has become untenable considering the environmental risks the inhabitants of the rural areas are exposed to.
“The government should embark on extensive agricultural activities in Nimbo, which is an agrarian community rather than abandoning the people to an agrarian subsistence existence. Government’s failure to exploit the agricultural potentials of the community is akin to abandoning the people to the devilish whims of the herdsmen, who are attracted to the lush grass in the area. A stronger government presence in Nimbo and other communities in the council, will attract investors in the agriculture sector and the untapped potential of Nimbo; this would definitely keep the herdsmen away.”
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