Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State, on Thursday, ordered for the arrest of one Charles Ogbu for allegedly “spreading false information and malicious distortion of facts in the social media over the unfortunate crisis between the farmers and herdsmen in our country.”
In a statement signed by the Principal Secretary to the Governor, Chief Clement Nweke, and issued to newsmen in Abakaliki, Umahi said that his position on the herdsmen’s menace was falsified to damage his image.
“It will be noted that in the first week of February, 2018, State Government called meeting of traditional rulers and herdsmen having received reports of destruction of farmlands by herdsmen in Ebonyi State.
“In the said meeting, government directed that there shall be no more movement of herdsmen with their cattle from one community to another community, village to another, or any cattle seen in any farmland across the state as such infringes on the rights of the farmers and destroys their only means of livelihood of which agriculture forms the main stay in the state.
“Let it be known that what the state government did was not different from the monthly meeting of stakeholders especially farmers and herdsmen together with security agencies and in the said last meeting, no mention was made of any ranching, colony, grazing route or grazing reserve as wickedly and maliciously being speculated by Charles and his cronies.
“Consequently, Ebonyi State cannot accommodate such wide wishes of ranching, grazing reserve, colony or whatever name as over 30 percent of her farmland has already been taken over by solid minerals exploration which is being controlled by the federal government.
“We have managed our affairs with the herdsmen in the state relatively peacefully and circulation of such wicked and malicious speculation in the name of politics is a sign of danger not only for Ebonyi State but the entire country.
“There is no doubt, Charles is acting the script of distraction on behalf of his party that is factionalized into five units with negligible followers in Ebonyi State.
“We therefore request the immediate arrest of Charles and his backers to face the law of the state for spreading hate speeches and malicious misinformation through the social media.
“Nigeria is passing through a lot of challenges now and it is advisable that we as leaders and citizens of this country don’t celebrate hate speeches and malicious distortion of facts as the attendant consequences could be very drastic and highly demanding on the good people of Nigeria” the statement partly read.