I started off worrying about the dangerous and deadly herdsmen when they killed from a distance.
When they killed people from far away from me, something in me snapped and I was angry.
They kept killing closer and closer to me. I got angrier. But how close would the herdsmen get to me personally?
To answer this question, read the urgent message I received this night from the youths of my own very town, Umumba Ndiuno of Ezeagu Local Government Area of Enugu State:
“Good Morning Sir; it’s me your brother.
“Please as it stands now, Our Umumba youth president have organise a meeting between the entire villagers.
“The Alhaji who is in charge of the herdsmen that are in our hometown coming up on 2nd of May, which is next two days.
“He said that the meeting is to enable all the villagers to talk about whatever the cattle and herdsmen are doing in our farm land and other part of our community that they do not like so that they will find solution to it.
“So, big brother, I wish to plead with u to know if there is anything u can do within your powers to make sure that the state security personnels will be present in the meeting.
The person that sent the above message to me is not my blood brother.
But most people in my village address me as “big brother” and introduce themselves to me as “[my] brother”.
Apart from the message, I have made a few calls and I learnt that the youth of my town would make a formal request for my intervention later today.
(5) They are apprehensive that the meeting might result in problems, which should require that I alert the security officials.
(6) They are looking to me for help.
So, this matter is now right on my laps.
With what we have seen everywhere this sort of tension arose, blood flowed soon after.
Now, I have to stop any such thing in my own village.
I don’t want any of my town people to die and I don’t want any herdsman to die.
I want them to go their separate ways in peace. And certainly, I have to protect my people’s way of life.
Their farmlands cannot be invaded in the manner that has been described to me.
I was not aware of how far this problem had built up over time because I have not been spending time in my town except occasional visits.
But that is going to change now.
While I shall continue to address this problem all over the affected places, I will pay close attention to Umumba Ndiuno and Enugu State.
The involvement of my town gives me an added perspective of the delicate problem that the situation has created.
I think the simple solution is for the Government to keep the herdsmen away from Enugu State.
And if I were to speak for everybody else, I will urge the government to restrict the herdsmen to dedicated grazing spaces.