To forestall clashes between host communities and herdsmen in Obingwa Local Government Area of Abia State, Chairman, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, Abia State chapter, Alhaji Hassan Buba, has called on communities to demand the telephone numbers of herdsmen, who come into their areas to graze their cattle.
Buba, who stated this at a town hall meeting which featured leaders of Miyetti Allah, traditional rulers, town unions and youth groups at Eastern Ngwa Police Division, Umuobiakwa, said the move will assist communities to check herdsmen who invade farms and destroy crops.
He appealed to the communities to notify the leadership of the association in the state of any invasion of their farms by cows for amicable settlement, rather than resorting to retaliation which could escalate the situation.
He said: “I plead with the traditional rulers of the various communities to seek the telephone number of any herdsman who comes into their area of authority to graze cattle.
“They should forward such telephone numbers to us to check trouble makers. If the herdsman refuses to cooperate and release his telephone number, the community should report to the security agencies and avoid taking the laws into their hands. This will go a long way to forestall clashes between herdsmen and their host communities.”
Traditional ruler of Etiti Ohanze autonomous community, Eze Marshal Ogbonna, among others, who spoke at the meeting, had lamented the destruction of farmlands and crops by herdsmen and called on security agents as well as the leadership of the cattle breeders to check the trend.
Earlier, Divisional Police Officer, Eastern Ngwa Division, SP Saleh Musa, said the town hall meeting was convened to find solutions to the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
He added that through the intervention of police, situations that would have led to loss of lives and properties were averted and urged both parties not to take the law into their hands, no matter the level of provocation.