David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka
The Anambra State government has said that it has resolved the feud between Fulani herdsmen and indigenous farmers in the state which led to the killing of six people in Anam community of Anambra West Local Government Area at the weekend.
A statement by the Commissioner for Information and Public Orientation, Mr C.Don Adinuba, said that the crisis was caused by some strange herdsmen, who strayed into the area without the knowledge of the existing relationship between the host community and the herders.
But a community leader from Anambra West, who spoke to THISDAY on phone on condition of anonymity, decried what he described as the lukewarm nature of the governor of the state towards issues surrounding herdsmen killings in the state.
According to the statement, “The Anambra State Government is pleased to announce that the crisis between herdsmen and crop farmers in the Anam community in Anambra West Local Government Area last week has been resolved.
“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.”
Adinuba said the crisis was as a result of “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 informed 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”.
The statement however failed to speak on the sanctions meted out to the killer herdsmen who violated the rules, nor did it state if any arrest or compensation has been made by the security agencies.
A source from the community, where the herdsmen had killed six farmers at the weekend, said: “No resolution would work if the killers are not arrested and punished for their sins. So the men who were killed should just be forgotten because the killers are the ‘almighty’ herdsmen?
“For any settlement to be made, government must tell us what plans they have for our people who lost their beloved ones, and we should also know if the killers have been arrested. You cannot just say that we have settled, because we have not, and our people are very unhappy,” he said.
There have been series of killings in communities in Anambra East and Anambra West Local Government Areas as a result of misunderstanding between herdsmen and indigenous farmers. Last weekend, six men from Anam community were reportedly killed by persons suspected to be herdsmen.