The Chairman of the Southeast Governors Forum and Governor of Ebonyi State, David Umahi on Monday directed the immediate arrest and prosecution of some persons alleged to be circulating a video and audio message on social media that Fulani herdsmen were under attack in the state.
Umahi made this known while speaking with journalists shortly after an emergency meeting between the state government and the leadership of Miyeti Allah, which took place at the cabinet office.
The Governor said the video and audio circulating social media was already causing panic and tension in the country, especially in the state.
He, however, alleged that the opposition party and other perceived enemies of the government are behind the circulation of such videos, with the intention to breach the existing relationship between the Ebonyi State government and Fulani herdsmen.
He said: “I have noted that the video and audio circular on social media platforms are creating fear. In Abakaliki local government area last night, two cows were killed and so, my directive is that the security agencies should wake up.
“They should arrest anybody that is trying to discuss any matter that is between life and death including the Fulani herdsmen.
This must be taken seriously and I will not accept the delay in retrieving this fake news that is causing panic already in all over the country.
“That is not a good thing, because we kept quiet.
“I want the attorney general and commissioner for justice and local government chairmen to direct the herdsmen to keep watch over their cattle.
“I also want the local government to check if we can provide extra security around the herdsmen at the local level” he stated.
Meanwhile, the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, MACBAN in Ebonyi has disassociated itself from the purported controversial video and audio.
The Chairman of MACBAN, Alhaji Usman Ishaku, in a communiqué in Abakaliki denied the allegation making the rounds that herdsmen were attacked and chased out from the state.
“The audio and video in circulation on social media platforms alleging that herdsmen were being attacked and chased out of Ebonyi State, are false, fake, misleading and an orchestrated attempt by mischief makers and enemies of peace to cause disharmony between the peace-loving people of Ebonyi and Fulani herdsmen residents in the state” the group stated.
Alhaji Usman Ishaku maintained that herdsmen were enjoying their stay in Ebonyi and that there was no violence.