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Enugu Traditional Rulers Undermine Community Security By Collecting Cow Gifts From Herdsmen

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It was drama of a sort yesterday at the security meeting called by Enugu State governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as presidents’ general of town unions narrated how greed and avarice among traditional rulers in the communities have undermined security in their various communities.

Ugwuanyi had summoned the meeting held at the Old Governor’s Lodge on Abakaliki Road, as part of efforts to find solution to the rising insecurity in the state following last Monday’s incident at Ukpabi Nimbo, Uzouwani council where several persons were killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

The governor, at the meeting attended by his Deputy, Cecilia Ezeilo, House of Assembly members, the traditional rulers, their presidents’ general and transition council chairmen, had told the gathering that government was desirous of finding lasting solution to insecurity, especially those perpetrated by herdsmen in the communities and called for their suggestions.

Several traditional rulers had taken turns to speak differently on what they thought could be done as well as narrated ugly experiences in their various communities allegedly perpetrated by herdsmen.

When one of the presidents’ general and Transition Council Chairman for Ezeagu, Mr. Chukwudi Ezinwa was given the microphone, he told the gathering that the monarchs had undermined the functions of presidents’ general in the communities by their activities, thus undermining the security of life and property.

He stated that “they do this by constituting local vigilante alone without input from members of the community, collect Greek gifts (cow gifts) and money secretly from herdsmen without knowledge of their subjects.” He said it was the reason the monarchs looked the other way when issues concerning misbehavior of the herdsmen were brought to their notice.

Tempers that nearly marred the meeting rose as Ezinwa was talking, with the traditional rulers throwing banters at him and shouting him down in the process. Several of them had walked to the podium to snatch the microphone from him, leading to the intervention of the governor, who rose from his seat to calm the situation. And pleading with the monarchs to resume their seat and for decorum to be restored, the governor imposed a ban on the presidents’ general of from making further contributions to the meeting.