David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The lawmaker representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, Senator Victor Umeh has decried the destructive activities of herdsmen in various communities in Anambra State, thereby calling for the establishment of ranches.
In a related development, Jacob Edegbe, the son of Thomas Edegbe who was killed on Wednesday May 2 2018, in Okpokwu village, in Edumoga Okpokwu Local Government of Benue state, allegedly by Fulani herdsmen, has cried out for help.
Umeh made the remarks at a campaign rally he addressed at Achalla, a community in Awka North Local Government Area of the state; noting that the state would not tolerate the activities of herdsmen.
A good number of farmers had flooded the venue of Umeh’s campaign rally in Achalla, a predominantly agrarian community, recounting the destruction of Crops and farmland by herdsmen. The farmers claimed that several communities in the state were faced with violence between farmers and cattle herdsmen, which they said, culminated in the destruction of several hectares of farmlands.
Umeh, former National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), warned that the state would tolerate the activities of herdsmen, which he said, had led to the destruction of economic crops in the state.
In reaction to their complaints, Umeh said the state “will no longer tolerate such. Rearing cattle is their business, and they must run it like a business and stop using their business to destroy those of others.
“Anyone, who wants to do cattle business, must look for a way to go up north and ranch their cows. It is not acceptable to us for cattle herders to destroy the businesses of my people.
“We say no to the destructive activities of herdsmen. We say no to cattle colony too. This is a matter we have spoken against on the floor of the Senate. That is why it is good day to send people who know what representation is about. We will go to Abuja with these complaints.
“We will tell the federal government the plight of our people. We cannot continue like this. Some of these people borrow money to cultivate their farms, only for it to be destroyed by people who are doing their own businesses.”
Umeh pleaded with the people of the area for patience and something would be done, thereby asking for votes in the forthcoming election and promising to continue to work hard to ensure that not only the senatorial district or Anambra is represented, but the entire Igbo race.
In a statement yesterday, Jacob narrated how the Edegbe family was attacked by marauding Fulani herds men and their family home completely burnt down.
The statement said, “Thomas Edegbe age 60, was slaughtered in cold blood with his body completely burnt after being severed from each other. Two weeks before the attack, the Edegbe’s farmland, about six acres planted with cassava, yam, and maize had been destroyed by the herdsmen.
“If the Edegbe’s had known that the destruction of the farm was a signal to the violent attack perhaps, they would have flee the village as many other members of the community did.
“Scared of being haunted down too, Jacob Edegbe who refused to disclose where he’s speaking from during a telephone interview said his uncle, Thomas Edegbe was a man to be trusted and that was why the younger members of the family entrusted all the family wealth in his hands immediately after the death of the head of the family Ukpe Edegbe.
“We had a meeting, all of us and agreed that by easter of 2019, at the meeting, he would brief us on the situation as it affects the farm and other family belongings. Whatever is due to his younger ones, he would give them and he has been doing this for almost a decade now.
“That was how my school fees in the university was paid, that was how my wedding was financed, I’ve come to trust him, he became my economic adviser, I kept my savings and financial plans with him. There was no time for him to brief nor update me on anything, thus leaving me completely flat.
“It would not have been this worse if the herds men did not come back again after another two weeks to cause more havoc on the community,” said Jacob with a voice in tears.