Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, on Tuesday charged the state’s liaison officers to check the activities of herdsmen operating in the state. According to him, the existing peace between the populace and herdsmen in the state must be maintained in order to ensure that their cattle were not rustled or killed. Umahi gave the charge in Abakaliki while swearing-in 159 liaison officers appointed across the 13 Local Government Areas (LGA) of the state.
The governor charged the liaison officers to also ensure that the state was not viewed like others states on herdsmen issues, noting that it has accommodated the herdsmen operating in the state over the years. He said: “The herdsmen that have stayed with us for over 60 years do not foment trouble as it is only those that migrate from other places that do so. “Ebonyi took a stand that there should not be migration of cattle to Ebonyi and anyone moving cattle from other states to Ebonyi should use articulated vehicles. “We cannot evict our brothers and sisters herdsmen from our states but we insist that they should not move cattle from one farm to another but stay in designated areas given to them by their host communities.
“Frictions exist even in families but we must always device mechanisms of handling them as our committee on herdsmen activities should inculcate the liaison officers in the committee. “I must also warn you about betraying me and you should remember that while Christ forgave those who crucified him, the one who betrayed him committed suicide. “The reward for betrayal is suicide and if you do so, we will investigate the N20, 000 overhead given to you monthly and prosecute you if found wanting. “Good behaviour from you would, however, mean that you spent the money well as you will receive monthly salaries of N80, 000 in addition to the N20, 000 overhead,’’ he said.