EZINIHITTE HERDSMEN INVASION: LEADERS, OTHERS EXONERATE LG BOSS, ONYEBERECHI
…As they condemn social media reports as baseless
…Describe it as unnecessary distraction
…Salute Aladinma Ezinihitte on N8m bill for cows
The recent bad blood between indigenes of Ezinihite Mbaise and the Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the LG, Chief Francis Onyeberechi, occasioned by an invasion of the local government by Fulani herdsman came to a head recently, as traditional rulers, community leaders and stakeholders in Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA of Imo State commended the efforts of the Chairman of the Interim Management Committee of the LG, Onyeberechi, towards settling the misunderstanding between cattle herdsmen and youths.
They made the commendation at a meeting in the presence of some traditional rulers, Hon Anyadike Nwosu, Prince Ike Unegbu; SA to Governor, security agencies and community leaders at Itu.
Reacting to a letter which had gone viral on the social media said to have been written by Prof T.U. Nwala against Chief Onyeberechi on the said misunderstanding, the stakeholders roundly condemned it, describing it as baseless, unfortunate and irrelevant.
The IMC Chairman, Chief Onyeberechi said the letter purportedly written to him through the social media where spurious allegations against him.
He implored the leaders to look into the unfounded allegations since they were privy to the contents of the agreement between Ezinihitte leaders and the herdsmen adding that it was a collective decision of the stakeholders that a current account be opened at United Bank for Africa with the name “Ezinihitte Herdsmen Settlement Account” for which a mandate letter was issued to them by Ezinihitte Council of Ndieze with Hon Anyadike Nwosu, Chairman of Aladinma Conflict Resolution Committee, Chief Basil Ogwunga and himself as signatories.
Chief Onyeberechi told the stakeholders that the trio had almost concluded with the formalities for opening the bank account.
In his reaction, the member representing Ezinihitte State Constituency, Hon Anyadike Nwosu advised that the source of the social media write up should not be vilified as the people of Ezinihitte are not happy with the incursion of the herders into their LG and are insisting that leadership of Miyetti Allah must sign that they will not trespass into the LGA again for cattle grazing.
Hon Nwosu who is the Minority Leader in Imo State House of Assembly reminded them that there is a law against open grazing by the South East which had already been domesticated in Imo as Law No 9 of 2006 prohibiting open grazing in the state.
An aide to Imo Governor (SA) Prince Ike Uhegbu in his reaction said the agreement reached during negotiations were in the open with all parties involved and urged all to condemn the social media write up.
The Area Commander and Divisional Police Officer in the LGA, CAP Chris Eze and Onyebuchi Ndiulor respectively condemned the said social media letter and urged all to ignore and condemn it too.
In their separate contributions HRH Eze Ossy Nwokocha (Amumara), HRH Eze Mike Orji (Ihitte), HRH Eze Uwahemo (Onicha) condemned the write up, describing it as baseless and unfortunate.
They urged the LG chairman not to be discouraged but to remain focused and move ahead.
Chairman, Aladinma Ezinihitte Conflict Resolution Committee, Chief Basil Ogwunga disclosed that Aladinma Ezinihitte has made efforts to pay the agreed sum of N8million to the herders and had already secured fund for that.
He also emphasized that they had opened an account for their members who wish to contribute in paying the said bill, adding that the people at the grassroots are not happy with the invasion of the herders in their communities.
Chief Ogwunga however advised that in spite of their anger, leaders should use their fatherly and responsible positions to settle all the issues raised and avoid a reoccurrence.
The Secretary of Aladinma Ezinihitte Conflict Resolution Committee, Chief Inno Nwadavid blamed the misinformation on communication gap.
He said though funds had been secured by Aladinma Ezinihitte but that the donors gave a condition that the herders would not come to the LGA for grazing again.
A representative of Presidents General in Ezinihitte Mbaise, Chief Nnamdi Obilam decried the social media write up, adding that there is need for it to be condemned by all but however stated there is need to look into the repayment plan of any loan received for the payment.
Chief Obilam said that the allegation that herdsmen had occupied a part of Egberemiri Eziudo is false as such cannot happen without his knowledge as the PG of the said community.
The Secretary Ezinihitte Council of Ndieze, HRH Eze Sir Stephen Azubuine (Obizi) described the letter as a distraction.
He however commended members of Aladinma Ezinihitte for their efforts towards raising money to pay the N8million bill to the herders for their missing and slaughtered cows, adding that they will welcome such efforts by other groups of Ezinihitte sons.
He insisted that the UBA bank account already agreed by the stakeholders with the three signatories should be used.
It will be recalled that fulani herdsmen made incursoon into parts of Ezinihitte Mbaise LGA few weeks ago and allegedly clashed with some youths with some of the cows said to have been missing while others were slaughtered.