Farmers clashed with herdsmen in Akaeze, Ivo local government area of Ebonyi state on Tuesday with four persons sustaining injures.
While three herdsmen were left with head injuries, one of the farmers received machete cuts on various parts of his body.
The farmer is receiving treatment at the Emergency Ward of Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki(FETHA) while the injured herdsmen are receiving treatment at a hospital in Awgu, Enugu state.
Reports indicated that residents of the community have fled for fear of reprisal attacks from the herdsmen.
It was gathered that herdsmen from Mpu, Enugu state reportedly invaded farmlands in Akaeze and destroyed crops which angered one of the farmers who was attacked with machete when he confronted them.
The incident forced the state Governor David Umahi to ban grazing in the local government area until investigation into the matter was concluded.
Mr. Umahi, who summoned emergency security meeting with security chiefs in the state, leaders of herdsmen, local government chairmen and stakeholders of Ivo local government, later directed the setting up of 10-man committee to investigate cause of crisis.
“This issue is becoming complicated. I want the CP (commissioner of police), the Army and the SSS to set up a committee. It should be a 10-man committee to investigate the matter and we will convene another emergency security meeting on the matter.
“The investigation should commence immediately. But I am banning any herdsman from entering Ivo local government until this investigation is completed and I want the security men to carry out my instruction. No herdsman should enter the place, no cattle should enter Ivo local government again until investigation is completed.
“Security people, I want you people to note it down that any herdsman that is coming into Ebonyi must follow the procedure and must not ‘carry’ animals late into Ebonyi state. You bring animals by (via) vehicles and there is (are) no cattle routes in Ebonyi state. There is is no grazing reserve in Ebonyi, there is no colony Ebonyi.
“So, no animal should come to Ebonyi by routes, it is by vehicle and before they are coming, the ‘Ardo’ they are coming from should do a letter that they are coming in here. You cannot come into somebody’s farm without his permission, you can’t do that,” he said.
He said there would be no sacred cows in the matter.
“Anybody that kills the cows of a Fulani man, should go to prison for one year and also pay for the cattle.
Any Fulani man that destroys the farm of a farmer, will go to prison for one year and pay for the cost of the farmland,” Mr. Umahi stated.
Meanwhile, Governor Umahi has assented to the bill passed by the State House of Assembly creating two additional autonomous communities in the the war torn Ezza/Ezilo community.
Mr. Umahi while assenting to the bill expressed happiness with the speedy passage of the bill by the State House of Assembly, describing the law
as the permanent solution to the age-long communal crisis that led to destruction of lives and property.
Governor Umahi after brokering peace in the community on assumption of office created two additional communities from the Ezilo community which now has the Izo autonomous community for the Ezza clan and Ameze community for the Ezilo people.