Crises have been averted between some host communities in Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State and the Fulani herdsmen, following the intervention of Cleen Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, NGO, during a roundtable discussion, where the parties agreed to embrace peace.
Tension had heightened in the area, when a Fulani herdsman used his machete to chop off the hand of an indigene of Afor Ugwu Aguobu Owa over a disagreement. When the matter came up at the roundtable, Donald Nwafor, the Divisional Police Officer, Aguobu Owa, said police could not take action as the two parties agreed to an out of court settlement.
In his submissions at the workshop, jointly organised by Cleen Foundation and Ezeagu Local Government, the South-East Zonal Chairman of Miyetti Allah, Sarki Gidado Sadiq, blamed the conflict between his people and their host communities on mutual suspicion. He noted that some of the Fulani people had lived in the South-East for over 50 years and knew no other home.
He said if other local governments in Enugu State toed the line of Ezeagu Local Government, there would be peaceful co-existence between the Fulani and their host communities in the state.
Speaking on behalf of the host communities, the traditional ruler of Ogwofia Owa, Igwe Tom Inyama, said: “It takes two to make peace,” adding that any peace brokered without taking into consideration the interests of the two parties, would be meaningless.
Earlier, the Programme Officer, Cleen Foundation, Ifeanyi Anyanwu, said they noticed clashes between the Fulani herdsmen and host communities and decided to intervene through the workshop on conflict management and prevention.
Anyanwu said the Foundation, which has interest in promoting security, law enforcement and access to justice, started with five local government areas, selected across the country.