Governor Ikpeazu has ordered herders and others to leave forests.


Herders and settlers living in the woodlands of Umunneochi Local Government Area have been asked to leave immediately by Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu.

On Ihube-Leru-Isuochi Road in Umunneochi LGA, the Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, Samuel Uche, was kidnapped together with the Bishop of Owerri Diocese and the Prelate's chaplain. The victims were freed after a ransom of N100 million was paid.

On Sunday, June 5, the State Information Commissioner, Dr. Eze Chikamnayo, published a statement with the new directive.

The instruction came as a result of the governor's fact-finding tour to the scenes of incessant kidnappings and killings in the state's Umunneochi Local Council and interactive meetings with Umunneochi leaders, stakeholders, and security agencies, according to the statement.

The Governor further ordered that cows and herders operating in the area be restricted to the Umuchieze Cattle Market until a final judgement on the threat in the Cattle Market is made.

The announcement read: "As a result of His Excellency Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu's thorough interactive sessions with Umunneochi Leaders, Stakeholders, and Security Agencies, he now instructs as follows:

1.That the Commissioner of Police of Abia State, in collaboration with Umunneochi Youths, provide urgent security along the Ihube-Isuochi Road, which runs from Ngodo to Ihube via Lomara Junction.

2.When the above directive is put into effect, The Governor orders the Chairmen of Umunneochi LGA, Chief Ifeanyi Madu, to immediately open the road connecting Ihube and Ngodo Isuochi via Lomara Junction.

3.The Commissioner of Police in Abia State has been tasked with preparing logistical plans for the installation of six more checkpoints in key areas around the Umunneochi LGA.

4.Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu has issued an order for all settlers, herdsmen, and those living in the woodlands surrounding Umunneochi LGA to leave immediately. The government can no longer ensure the safety of anyone or any group located in the forests surrounding Umunneochi LGA.

5.Until a definitive judgement is reached about the menace in the Cattle Market, all cows and herders in the Umunneochi LGA are tightly restricted to the Cattle Market at Umuchieze.

6. The leaders of the Umunneochi LGA Vigilante Groups, Hunters, and the Hausa Community will continue to meet with the Governor until an amicable solution to the area's incessant insecurity is found.

7. His Excellency, Governor Okezie Victor Ikpeazu, calls on all parties to exercise caution and restraint in their words and actions in order to maintain the peace and promote peaceful coexistence among all law-abiding citizens.


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