Encroachment On School premises: Anambra Govt Issues Stern warning To herders

Anambra State government has warned all herdsmen grazing in parts of the state against further encroachment on school premises while grazing.

The senior special assistant on security to the governor, Christopher Ostar, who dropped the warning during a Cattle Menace Committee meeting held at Government House in Awka, the state capital, said government had ordered herders to vacate all school premises.

He directed the leader of the Fulani community (Sarkin Fulani) in the state not to allow new herders into the state as directed, while enjoining those already in the state to obey their host communities, stressing that “nobody is above the law”.

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Ostar, who doubles as the committee’s secretary, lamented that repeated warnings to herders to guard their cows against damaging properties and farm crops often fell on deaf ears. He said their action prompted the marching order from the Cattle Menace Committee, chaired by the state commissioner of police, CP John B. Abang.

Also speaking, CP Abang, represented by DCP Maiyaki Baba, promised the committee that the police would be meeting with the herders to ensure they leave the campuses and other school premises. He enjoined the committee to report anyone going against the directive to the police, reminding herders and farmers of the need to obey the law or face arrest.

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The commissioner promised to set up a sub-committee to assess the compensation for damages, and cautioned them against outrageous bill presented for payment.

On his part, the Sarkin Fulani, Alhaji Gidado Sidiq, appealed to the committee to consider herdsmen who are law-abiding to be operating in the state and assured he would communicate the decision to those still within university premises to vacate immediately.

Another member of the committee, CP Ikechukwu Aduba (retd), called on the committee to live up to expectations, reminding them that Governor Willie Obiano had expressed worry over the excesses of herdsmen reported to him.

Some members of the committee, Igwe PN Ezeamama of Enugwu Umuonyia, Igwe Pius Omachuonu of Olumbanasaa, Igwe B Okeji of Omasi and  Igwe  A.I Ofoebe of Ifite Ogwari, among others, in their separate reactions, expressed worry over the destruction of lives and property in their communities, stressing that no compensation could equal human life.

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They stressed the need for the committee to expedite action to stop further destruction in their communities especially “this farming season”.

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