By Kenneth Onuoha
365Daily – The herders conflict should be seen from the perspective of national interest in order to find a lasting solution to the menace all over the country, a Federal Government delegation and Southeastern Governors have said.
The declaration was sequel to a closed door meeting between the two parties on Friday, June 11, 2021, in Enugu State.
The Federal Government’s delegation was led by the country’s Defence Minister, Rtd. Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi, had his Interior Ministry counterpart, Rauf Aregbesola and Service Chiefs.
Governors of the South-East geo-political zone and other leaders of political, religious and traditional institutions in the zone, were also present at the Enugu Government House.
365Daily had earlier reported that the stakeholders were in a closed door meeting on security in the region.
After the closed-door session, Magashi said that the issues raised at the meeting comprised the instability and criminality affecting the country in general.
According to him, “We are happy to have discussed the ones that are peculiar to this part of the country.
“We agreed that there are fundamental issues that need to be addressed.
“The herders conflict should be seen from the perspective of national interest to find solution that will stop the menace all over the country.”
The Minister also revealed that they discussed community policing.
“We have the opinion that the Governors should be encouraged and we appreciate all our discussions,” Magashi said.
Speaking, the Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, Engr. David Umahi, thanked the Federal Government’s delegation for their concern towards addressing the insecurity in the zone.
He said: “Our people are excited with this commitment and sacrifices and we thank you so much.”
Umahi added that the stakeholders discussed issues on open grazing and that the delegates were in support of it.
“We informed the delegates that each state of the region has laws in respect to the ban,” he said.
Umahi said he told the delegation that “Ebubeagu is the only recognised security outfit in the South- East,” while leaders fro. The zone condemned the killing of the security men, innocent citizens and the burning of Government facilities.
“We are doing our best to ensure that normalcy returns to the region,” Umahi said.
Earlier, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State, in his welcome address, described the meeting as timely and apt, expressing optimism that the outcome of the meeting will engender the watershed to the security challenges in the Southeast zone.
He stressed the need for all government structures to uphold the security and welfare of the people as the primary purpose of government (enshrined in the 1999 Constitution).
Ugwuanyi also disclosed that the consultation with the Service Chiefs and critical stakeholders of the Southeast zone on the current security challenges “underscores the centrality of this security responsibility in our consideration”, and thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the “desirable and laudable development.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had said in an interview on Arise TV on Thursday, June 10, 2021, that all Governors should handle herders crisis on their own as they are more familiar with the people.
He also expressed support for open grazing of cattle, saying he had directed the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, to produce the gazetted grazing routes in the country.