Palpable fears and rumours of possible invasion of Abia and other south eastern states by Fulani herdsmen and Boko Haram, last weekend, led the traditional rulers in Abia to offer prayers at the boundaries connecting Abia with Enugu, Owerri, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States, urging God to arrest anybody entering the state with evil intention.
Speaking during the occasion, the Chairman, Abia State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM Eze Eberechi Dick said the prayer became necessary following signal that some people were planning to invade the state to wreak havoc.
He described the state as God’s Own State with peace loving people, adding that anybody planning any form of attack will not succeed.
They prayed God to disarm anyone who plans to take the life of anyone in the state.
The royal father pledged the total support of the Abia State Traditional Rulers Council to Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu in his bid to secure the lives and property of the residents of the state and take the state to greater height.
In their remarks, some members of the council who spoke on behalf of the three geo-political zone, including Eze Grace Nwankwo, Eze Godwin Ibekwesiri, Eze Paul Okpanku, Eze Ndubuisi Nwabekee and Eze Godwin Ukanna, prayed God to protect his people and avert any form of attack to the state.
There have been rumours of infiltration of armed herdsmen and Boko Haram insurgents into the state which has sent fears down the heart of Abians.
Towards safeguarding the state, the state governor, Okezie Ikpeazu had last week directed the men of the Abia State Vigilante Services (AVS), popularly known as Bakassi, to commence, with immediate effect, a two week intensive training, for onward deployment to our communities to assist in community policing under the supervision of the Commissioner of Police.
The governor also urged all traditional rulers in the state to submit names of 10 youths from their community to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs from Tuesday, 10th May to Wednesday, 11th May, 2016. These youths, according to the governor, will be enlisted into the Abia State Vigilante Services (AVS).
He also mandated the law enforcement agencies to search and screen all trucks and vehicles conveying livestocks, food items and persons into the state from any part of the country.
The law enforcement agencies, he said will also search and screen markets and settlements where livestocks and dealers are, to ensure security.
He announced that the State government has also constituted Farmers/Herdsmen Conflict Resolution Committee in the 17 Local Government Areas of the state while the local government chairmen will head the committees in their LGAs.
Other members of the committees he announced include; Divisional Police Officers in the LGAs, Local Government NSCDC heads, the DSS Local Government Chiefs, LGA Chairmen of Traditional Rulers Council and LGA Heads of Hausa communities”.