Hundreds of Nimbo community residents in the Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State have staged a peaceful protest against the state government’s plan to establish a cattle ranch for herdsmen in their community.
Among the protesters were people widowed or orphaned by the killing of 40 residents of the community by gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen on April 26, 2016, during the government of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
The community held the protest on Tuesday along the Nsukka – Uzo-Uwani – Anambra Federal Highway.
A video of the protest on Friday shows the protesters, who were mostly women and youths, displaying placards and chanting: “Nimbo doesn’t want cattle, doesn’t want ranching.”
One of the placards reads, ‘Nimbo Community Says No To Cattle Ranch In Their Land QED.’
A resident of the community told SaharaReporters on Friday that protests in Nimbo followed an alleged plan by the state government to establish a ranch where the town shares a border with Kogi State.
“The plan followed a government inspection team to the area, nearly eight years after the April 25, 2016 Nimbo Massacre, during which armed Fulani herders murdered 40 indigenes of our town.
“The incident followed farmer-herder clashes in the general area where the RUGA (Rural Grazing Areas) settlement is allegedly being planned to be sited.”
RUGA is an initiative of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s government to address the herders-farmers’ clashes in the country but it was rejected in most of the southern states.
Efforts to speak with the President General of Nimbo Town Union, Clement Akogwu, were unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, the state government has confirmed that it is establishing a ranch in the community. It said it would manage ranching as a measure to solve permanently the farmers-herders clashes in the state.
A senior government official told SaharaReporters that the ranching is going to be fully controlled by the government.