…Says all cattle must come in trucks, not bush paths
…Denies donating any land for RUGA
…Says in talks with Northern Govs over threat by northern youths’ group
“no peaceful herdsman will be chased out of region
….Urges South-Easterners living in north not to panic
The South-East Governors Forum has warned all herdsmen not to bring cattle to the South-East on foot through the bush paths except by roads and using trucks.
The Governors said any herdsman caught moving cattle to the south East region on foot and through the bush paths would not be allowed entry.
The Governors also said that there is no available land in the whole of South-East for the now suspended RUGA project formerly proposed by the federal government. The South-East governors gave the statement through the forum’s Director General, Prof. Simon Ortuanya.
According to the statement, the no herdsman who is peaceful would be chased out of the region. The Governors also assured all South-Easterners living in the north to ignore the recent threat by a northern youths’ group over the RUGA project under suspension.
The statement partly read thus:
“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 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 defenseless 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.
“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
The Governor of Ebonyi State, Chief David Umahi, on Wednesday threatened to sack any political appointee found gossiping about him and his government.
Umahi made the threat during the swearing in of the head of service and senior special assistants to government, which took place at the exco- chambers government house Abakaliki, Ebonyi State capital city.
He noted further with dismay the rate Ebonyi people gunned for political appointments, saying that the people of the state should think of something else other than politics.
He said, “What is trending in Ebonyi state is that I want to be SSA and SA. Imagine the cabinet we have, everybody wants to be SA. If I am making more SAs, it must not be up to ten percent of the SAs I have appointed. It is my opinion that we fine something else doing.
“My commissioner will come last. I want to let them know that this job can be done without anybody. My former commissioners started a very bad trend for the state and for me. Everyday, it was discussing the governor, going from one office to the other. They were going about saying that they were not being given anything and not being taken care of. If I get anybody complain again, I will get rid of that person.
“So, anybody we will appoint now, we will tell the person, this is not come chop, it is come work. So, from day one, if you do not want to sacrifice to work for the people, you better go and look for another opportunity. if I get anybody complaining there is no money, I will get rid of the person. This is no longer going to be a gossip workshop. People are called to work.
“This is not the era of coming with files. You have to create wealth. Let’s look beyond the money we get. If you think this is a safe haven, I have withdrawn the overhead from ministries, STAs and TAs. There is so much loose funds with all the financial institutions. Let’s look beyond the money we get for paying salaries. When you attract funds from outside, you start making your overheads”, he said.
Umahi, who however, said that not everybody who was part of his former cabinet would be returned, assured that those that would not make it would be given opportunities to make money, even as he threatened anyone suspected to be a cultist.
“For those in my exco before, definitely not everybody will come back. For those who cannot come back, we will create opportunities, that they will even make more money than those that will be in exco. I was told we have over ten thousand applications for commissioners, SAs, SSAs.
“It is threatening, it doesn’t give me joy at all. Any of my appointees that has been cleared by the quarters concerned, if you are found identifying with cultism, we will sack the person, and the next available flight will take you to the national security adviser”, he vowed.
In a remarks, the head of service, Dr Nwele Chambalin who responded on behalf of the appointees pledged their commitment to work with the governor and eschew gossips and other unholy acts that would undermine the governor.