Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has ordered all Fulani herders and settlers living in the forests surrounding Umunneochi Local Government Area to leave immediately.
On Ihube-Leru-Isuochi Road in Umunneochi LGA, the Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Samuel Uche, was abducted alongside the Bishop of Owerri Diocese and the Prelate’s chaplain. The victims were released after N100 million in ransom was paid.
The new direction was included in a statement released by Dr. Eze Chikamnayo, State Information Commissioner, on June 5.
The decision was issued as a result of the governor’s fact-finding tour to the scenes of kidnappings and killings in Umunneochi Local Council and his interactive meetings with Umunneochi leaders, stakeholders, and security agencies, according to the statement.
The Governor further ordered that cows and herders in the area be confined to the Umuchieze Cattle Market till a final decision is made regarding the menace in the Cattle Market.
The assertion read;
"Arising from the extensive interactive sessions which His Excellency Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu has been having with Umunneochi Leaders, Stakeholders and Security Agencies, he hereby directs as follows: 1.That the Commissioner of Police Abia State alongside with Umunneochi Youths provide immediate Security along the Ihube to Isuochi Road stretching from Ngodo through Lomara Junction all the Way to Ihube. 2.Upon the implementation of the above directive The Governor directs the Chairmen of Umunneochi LGA, Chief Ifeanyi Madu to open the Road leading from Ihube through Lomara Junction to Ngodo Isuochi immediately. 3.The Commissioner of Police, Abia State has been mandated to draw up logistic requirements for mounting six additional check points at strategic locations across Umunneochi LGA. 4.Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu hereby directs that all settlers , herders and individuals residing inside the forests around Umunneochi LGA to vacate such locations with immediate effect. Government can no longer guarantee the safety of any person or group found to be residing in the forests around Umunneochi LGA. 5.All Cows and herders around Umunneochi LGA are hereby restricted strictly to the Cattle Market located at Umuchieze until a final decision is reached concerning the menace in the Cattle Market 6. The Leadership of the Youths of Umunneochi LGA Vigilante Groups, Hunters and the Hausa Community will continue to meet with the Governor until an amicable solution is found to the incessant cases of Insecurity in the Area. 7. His Excellency, Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu urges all parties to show restraint and circumspection in their utterances and actions in order to maintain the peace and promote peaceful coexistence of all law abiding