Umeh, cleric urge FG to stop attack by herdsmen


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The former National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Chief Victor Umeh has urged the Federal Government to find lasting solution to the increasing attacks by herdsmen on citizens.

Similarly, the Catholic Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Paulinus Ezeokafor has advised against carrying out reprisal attacks, which he said could breed more violence.

The duo expressed their opinions in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Onitsha on Monday.

They asked the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, disarm the herdsmen, who have been terrorising people in the middle belt and the Southern part of the country.

Umeh, who is the APGA Senatorial candidate for the Anambra Central rerun, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to order the setting up of grazing reserves and ranches in the North.

“During the first Republic, every region in this country was known for one agricultural produce or the other.

“The South West was known for Cocoa, the East had palm trees that produced palm oil and kernel and the North groundnut and Cattle rearing,” Umeh said.

He expressed worry over the ease with which the herdsmen carry sophisticated weapons and machete without confrontation or arrest by security operatives.

“The Federal Government has a lot to do.

“They should not put Nigerians to test by allowing these herdsmen to carry riffles, which they use to kill and maim.

“These herdsmen should be disarmed immediately,” Umeh said.

On his part, Ezeokafor while appealing to citizens to maintain peace and not take laws into their hands, urged the Federal Government to take a speedy decision in the interest of all.

“I can’t see how someone, who rears cattle, will have guns and all those facilities; I feel some people are behind them and are hiding under the mask.

“So, we plead and call on the Federal Government to rise up to the occasion and not give us the impression that some people have monopoly of violence.

“A reprisal attack or violence will not solve the problem,” the cleric said.

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