A local government chairman in one of the council areas in Ebonyi state may have found the most effective solution yet to spate of herdsmen menace in the country.
Engr. Ogbonna Felix Igboke, who is the Executive Chairman of Onicha Local Government Area of Ebonyi state, wowed the council area’s indigenes and residents with an audacious approach to maintaining peaceful co-existence between the Fulani herders and their host.
Onicha LGA is one of many areas in the state that regularly witnesses the influx of nomads. Blessed with fertile lands, the area has always played host to herders – who seek greener pastures – for their pastoral activities.
But given the prevailing security challenges across the country – most of which are occasioned by the reported widespread menacing activities of the Fulani Herdsmen – it was only right that the security of lives and property of his people became paramount.
In achieving this, Engr. Igboke ventured into a “profiling agreement” with leaders of the Fulani Community in the area.
Leaders of the herders were invited to a security summit in the area’s headquarters, Isu. They surprisingly obliged. Heads of all the security agencies; the Police, the State Security Service, SSS, Civil Defence, etc, were also present, alongside stakeholders drawn from the various communities that make up the L.G.A.
The Chairman expressed his desire to have herders, resident in area, profiled and attached to a known head (Leader). According to him, it was the only way the security of his people could be assured.
After much deliberations, a resolution was reached. Leaders of the herders not only agreed to comply, they also promised to ensure members are law abiding, even as they pledged to hand over any of their members found to be engaging in illegalities to the relevant authorities.
Upon the agreement, the LGA will now have a database of all the Fulani herders in the area; names and other identities, arrival and departure times and other relevant information.
While accepting responsibility for herders in the area, the leaders of the Fulani community vowed to put an end to more influx of other sets of herders to the area.
Our survey can confirm people of the area council now feel safer than ever. A resident, who identified himself as Mr. Nwani, hailed the LG Chairman, Engr. Igboke, for his God-given wisdom, which enabled him to come up with the initiative.
“When i say our chairman is the best in Nigeria, people will think i’m lying.
Just imagine with his God-given wisdom he has made us feel safer than ever. Our farmers can now go to their farm lands without fear.
Our women can now go about their business without fear of getting raped.
I’m really excited for this development” He said.