South East Governors ban movement of cows through bushes


Enugu-----The five governors of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu and Imo states have banned the movement of cattle coming to the region from the north through bush parts. This was contained in a statement signed by the Director General, South East Governors Forum, Professor Simon Uchenna Ortuanya. Ortuanya said that the resolution followed an agreement reached with herdsmen living in the zone. According to Ortuanya, the movement of cows into the zone should be through transportation using trailers to their specific cow markets and not through the bushes. The statement read in part, "No more allowing foreign herdsmen to move their cattle by foot as this is the point of conflict with the farmers and natives. "The South East Governors' Forum however, dispels the rumours alleging that the governors' of south east have secretly donated land for RUGA programme being promoted by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and National Livestock Transformation Plan, NLTP, as approved by the National Economic Council, NEC. "The fact remains that no south east governor has donated any land or intends to donate any land for any of the two programmes for lack of enough land in the entire South East. "Governors of South East appreciate the fact that we have good and law abiding herdsmen who have been living with us; some of them were even born here. We have been living in peace with them until recently when we started witnessing invasion of our land, kidnapping of our people, killing of defenceless natives and destruction of their farmlands." "These herdsmen that have been living peacefully with us together with the natives have insisted that these evil as now experienced in our land are the handiwork of herdsmen moving from other states into South East and most of the time, these herdsmen are not even Nigerians. "That we will not chase away herdsmen who are peaceful and have been living peacefully with us in the south east." The state chief executives, however, noted that there was no land to donate for RUGA or NLTP programme saying, "we are committed to selling grasses and by-product of our farms to support NLTP for states that have keyed into the programme. "We ask all our people living outside the south east especially in the north to ignore the threat contained in the video message by self-styled northern youths. "We are in talks with the northern governors and leaders who speak for their people and they have assured us that there is no harm that will befall our people living in various northern states across Nigeria. "Finally, we advise those drumming for war to remember our mothers and children and have a rethink. In a state of war, even your friends could become your enemies. Let us bond together as one people and start to think on how to rebuild our youths whose future we ate up in the time past, rebuild our nation whose patriotism we ignored in the time past and love one another."

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