The Abia State Government has accused herders of kidnapping citizens of the state.
John Okiyi Kalu, the state Commissioner for Information, made the allegation in a statement on Monday.
Kalu said the herdsmen also destroyed farmland in the state, with their cows “grazing openly in violation of extant laws of the state and Nigeria”.
The commissioner said Governor Okezie Ikpeazu had directed security operatives to investigate the destruction of farmland and the kidnapping cases in some communities in the state.
The statement read, “Abia State Government wishes to condemn in its entirety the recent destruction of farmland by cows grazing openly in violation of extant laws of the state and Nigeria.
“It also condemns, without reservations, the activities of criminal herdsmen suspected to have masterminded the recent brazen kidnap of innocent citizens around Abia North Senatorial Zone of the state.
“Consequently, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has directed security agents in the state to bring to justice all those involved in the criminal activities. Government also frowns seriously on the wanton killing of cows by yet-to-be identified individuals whose aim is to exacerbate already existing tension.
“Government has fully activated all relevant components of the state security architecture to ensure the safety of lives and property of law abiding citizens, residents and visitors to the state.
“We therefore call on the people to go about their legitimate businesses without fear as government is on top of the situation and will spare nothing in protecting Abians.”
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) had on Monday issued a 14-day ultimatum to South-East governors to enforce the anti-grazing law.
IPOB said it would not tolerate killings by herdsmen, adding that the security outfit would commence the enforcement of anti-grazing law in two weeks.
The group said those who violate the law will “witness the type of madness you never knew existed”.
“If you are one of the #Zoo animals suffering from an advanced form of Stockholm syndrome, may it kill you there. We in the East are not, have never been and can never be slaves to any bunch of retards. Ask the British,” Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader said in a statement.
“We won’t tolerate any iota of killer Fulani herdsmen menace in the East. You may be comfortable with your wretched Fulanised existence where you are but we won’t live with that rubbish in the land of the Rising Sun. Where were you when our people were being slaughtered, raped and kidnapped in Isiukwuato?
“In less than two weeks, #ESN will commence the full enforcement of Nigeria’s Anti-Grazing Law in the East. Turn into a cow then and see what shall become of you. You are about to understand how determined we are. You have the temerity to talk about monopoly of violence?
“The era of Biafrans crying and lamenting to EU and UN has come and gone. The Dragon Flag has been raised! If you don’t know what it means, go and ask. Yap all you like, there is no going back. You #Zoo animals are about to witness the type of madness you never knew existed.”
Operatives of IPOB’ Eastern Security Network on Sunday also invaded the camp of Fulani herdsmen in Isiukwuato, a town in Abia, chasing them away and killing dozens of their cows.
In a video seen by SaharaReporters, the ESN operatives were seen burning houses and cows allegedly belonging to the herdsmen.
A lady was also heard in the video accusing the Fulani of being behind the rising insecurity in the Eastern region.
“We are here to tell these idiots, these stupid Fulani that this place is not for them, they must leave our land. We are formidable, we have dealt with them, their cows are dead, we have chased them away,” she said.
“They should leave our land, there is no place for them. We cannot allow you to stay in our land, you kill our people, you rape our women, you think you will go scot free, there is no place for you. These are their houses, we are setting fire on it. They should leave our land.”