Governor David Umahi of Ebonyi State has ordered vigilantes and the local government areas leadership to immediately enforce the ban on open grazing across the state.

Mr Umahi gave the order in Abakaliki while briefing reporters at the end of the state security council meeting attended by heads of security agencies and council chairmen.

The governor said that though there was no herder presently in the state, the ban on open grazing should be seriously enforced.

“The natives should not blame security agencies who cannot be everywhere as we will fully fund vigilante operations in the state.

“Individuals who make inciting statements on social media should desist because such increases tension in the land,” he said.

He urged residents of the South-east zone, especially its leaders, to totally condemn the incessant attacks on police facilities, among other security threats.

“The attacks are not perpetrated by herders but by criminals and bandits in the zone.

“How would we feel if the federal government withdraws policemen from the zone as a result of this development?

“The people claiming to protect us are not doing so and we should avoid creating another monster in the zone,” he said.

Mr Umahi reiterated his call on policemen to protect themselves and their facilities as the situation was becoming worrisome.

“I have directed them to demobilise anyone aiming to attack them and this is contained in the police rule of engagement,” he said.

The governor ordered the arrest of some people whose utterances were said to have escalated the conflict and killings, especially in Effium and Mgbo communities of the state.

“The stakeholders of the affected communities have pledged to ensure the conflicts cease and abide by all government’s decisions on the issues,” he said.

(NAN)

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