By Newscritic reporter
The chief press secretary to Abia state governor Dr Okezie Ikpeazu, Onyebuchi Ememanka has declared that the government has no apologies to anyone for paying N100,000 compensation to Fulani herdsmen for any cow killed during clashes with Abia farmers.
Governor Ikpeazu came under attacks since he said in a television programme that part of the efforts his government has put in place to foster peace and unity in the state, is by paying Fulani herdsmen N100,000 for any cow killed during clashes with farmers in the state. He disclosed that the farmer is also compensated based on the assessment of the level of loss he or she suffered during the clash which led to the destruction of crops and farmlands.
The people of Abia were enraged by the government appeasement initiative of herdsmen, which they believe would only encourage the herdsmen to continue to perpetrate their evil atrocities against their native hosts without limits.
However, the Governor’s CPS, Onyebuchi Ememanka writing on his social media wall said the explanation by the government captures the approach of the governor in handling the challenges of herdsmen in Abia state, adding that “we have no apologies to anyone about this. He maintained that indeed, there is nothing cowardly about seeking peace”.
The statement by the CPS has attracted some adverse reactions from social media users, who have expressed their disappointment that he has remained defiant like mallam Garuba Shehu, the media aide to president Muhammadu Buhari, in the face of growing disillusionment with the government.
For instance, Crystal Jane Cosmos wrote on her facebook page that “while others are busy protecting their lands from war and herdsmen, some are busy bringing the war to their land and empowering the herdsmen to destroy”.
Another social media user, Sophie Ogechi wrote “I’m beginning to lack adjective to describe this government. Imagine, strangers came to your place, raped and killed people, destroyed their crops and you still pay them N100k for a job well done. Then you have the civil servants under your payroll starving…pay teachers and health workers their salaries of over 12 months and implement the 2018 open grazing ban, while it’s day”.
A concerned citizen said that the herder-farmer clash will abruptly come to an end if each unit has a specific domain for their business operations. He said inasmuch as govts at all levels are coming with what is perceived to be an interim measure to maintain peace and tranquillity amongst all, “efforts should be intensified to start educating, introducing and implementing ranching approaches to pastural farming.