Abia State Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu has restated the commitment of his administration to the strict enforcement of the anti-open grazing law already passed by the State House of Assembly.
Governor Ikpeazu who was addressing a delegation of the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Dr Samuel Kalu Uche at Government House Umuahia said that the move was in “response to the excesses of criminal herdsmen terrorizing our people, destroying our farmlands”, and assured that “plans were underway to flush the criminal herdsmen from our forests”.
The Governor who restated the commitment of his administration to the security of lives and property of Abians, described as worrisome the absence of anyone from the Southeast region of the country leading any of the several outfits that make up the security architecture of Nigeria, saying that while the South East region is a direct victim of the activities of criminal herdsmen and other sundry security challenges, nobody from the region is part of the highest decision making body when it comes to security.
He stressed the need for Igbo youths to tread with caution in the prevailing security situations, adding that with resilience, dedication and the age-long Igbo apprenticeship mentorship system, Ndigbo will definitely lead in the socio-economic landscape of Nigeria.
The Governor who noted that Abians are known globally for their ingenuity and entrepreneurial skills and that the State has remained the SME capital of Nigeria, added that no foreign direct investment will be recorded in the midst of insecurity.
Governor Ikpeazu expressed confidence in the ability of The Methodist Church Nigeria in managing the physical, spiritual and mental upbringing of children and that his administration would keep partnering the Church in the academic development of Abia children.
He assured that his administration would consider the request of the Prelate for government to return some schools originally owned by the church.
Earlier in his speech, the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Samuel Kalu Uche said that he is an advocate of a Nigeria with true federalism devoid of marginalization of any region.
Dr Kanu Uche regretted the level of marginalization of Ndigbo within the Nigerian political firmament and called for an additional state for the south East in the ongoing constitution review to enable the region be at par with other regions in number of states.
The Methodist Prelate who also expressed support for the ban on open grazing by the Southern Governors, condemned in its totality the wantom destruction of lives and property of Nigerians especially Christians in the north.
He noted that he has been following the Governor’s transformation projects with remarkable infrastructural facelift in Aba and other parts of the state.
Dr Kanu Uche later prayed for the Governor and the State Government as well as presented the Governor, Member representing Umunneochi State Constituency at the Abia State House of Assembly, Chief Okey Igwe and the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, with copies of the Holy Bible.
The Prelate was accompanied by the Archbishops of Umuahia and Okigwe Archdioceses, Most Rev Chibuzo Opoko and Most Rev Emem John Koko Bassey, as well as the Bishops of Nneochi, Isuikwuato, Uturu and Ihube and their wives.