State governors in the South-East region has banned the movement of cows into the geo-political zone through the bush path by foot.
The governors stated this in a statement signed by the Director General, South-East Governors Forum, Prof. Simon Ortuanya.
They said henceforth, movement of cows into the zone should be done through the roads by using trucks in conveying the animals and offloading them to their specific cow markets.
“We will no longer allow foreign herdsmen to bring their cattle into our geopolitical zone through the bush paths by foot because this is what always cause conflict between our people and the herders,” the governors declared.
The governors restated their position that they have not and do not intend to donate lands for the creation of Ruga settlements or implementation of the National Livestick Transformation Plan (NLTP) in the region, promising to support states where the initiatives will be established.
“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 this 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.
“We will not chase away herdsmen who are peaceful and have been living peacefully with us in the South-East.
“We are committed to selling grasses and by-products of our farms to support the NLTP for states that have keyed into the programme.”
While cautioning those beating the drum of war, the governors urged those from the region residing outside the zone to discard the threat of Northern youths group who had threatened to unleash mayhem on those whose state governors rejected the implementation of Ruga in the their states.
“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 beating the drum of 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,” they added.