Obiano sues for peaceful co-existence between Hausa/Fulani, host communities in Anambra
Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano on Thursday held a tripartite meeting between the leaders of the Fulani community in the state, the traditional rulers of agrarian communities and the local government to encourage peaceful co-existence among the various groups in the state.
Addressing the gathering on Thursday at the Governor’s Lodge, Amawbia, Governor Obiano recalled that he had set up a special committee to encourage mutually beneficial relations between the Hausa/Fulani Community in the state and their hosts. The Governor pointed out that there have been reports of suspicious movements in some parts of the state, warning that they were being carefully monitored to ensure that there was no threat to the security of the state. He urged the Fulanis on the committee to tell the other members of the committee if their people nursed any grievance in whatever form against their hosts.
While warning that nobody should take laws into their hands, he recalled that it was agreed at the Security Council that herdsmen were not allowed to carry arms, which was a clear directive from Abuja. “Herdsmen are not supposed to bear arms. Please, if you see any herdsmen with AK47, report them early to the police so that they can be picked up. That is the way to co-exist in a multi-ethnic and diverse society. Fulani herdsmen used to be known with their long sticks and daggers, which they used to protect their cows. But these Fulani herdsmen that carry AK47 riffles are worrisome.
We don’t want what happened in Enugu to happen here. But if the three options we are proposing fail, we are ready to defend ourselves. But we don’t want it to get to that point. We don’t want anything to destroy the beautiful relationship that has existed between Igbos and Fulanis and other Nigerian tribes. We want Anambra to be a shining example,” he said.
While assuring to protect the lives of Fulanis, the Hausas and other non-indigenes in Anambra State, he added, “Nothing will happen to you in Anambra State”. In his speech, the Chairman of the South East Zone of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Alhaji Siddiki Gidado condemned the wanton loss of lives and property caused by the growing clashes between Fulani herdsmen and their host communities, maintaining that no amount of efforts deployed towards achieving harmonious living amongst peoples was costlier than the price of disharmony.
Also speaking, the leader of the Muslim Community in Anambra State, Alhaji Sule Momodu observed that Muslims in the state had never had it so good as they presently do under Obiano. He thanked the Governor for appointing a member of the Muslim Community as his Special Assistant, Alhaji Momodu noted that it was the first time since the creation of the state that a Hausa/Fulani was given such honour.