The Ebonyi State government has ordered the arrest of a social media writer, Charles Ogbu, for allegedly spreading false information over the crisis between the farmers and herdsmen in Nigeria.
It gave the order in a statement signed by the Principal Secretary to Governor David Umahi, Clement Nweke.
The statement accused Mr Ogbu, who is a member of the All Progressives Congress, of falsely accusing the governor of endorsing cattle colony in the state during a security meeting.
Mr. Nweke said at no time during the meeting did Mr. Umahi endorse or order the setting up of cattle colony in the state.
“It will be noted that in the first week of February, 2018, State Government called meeting of traditional rulers and herdsmen having received reports of destruction of farmlands by herdsmen in Ebonyi State.
“In the said meeting, government directed that there shall be no more movement of herdsmen with their cattle from one community to another community, village to another, or any cattle seen in any farmland across the state as such infringes on the rights of the farmers and destroys their only means of livelihood of which agriculture forms the main stay in the state.
“It will be noted that Ebonyi State is gifted with abundant blessings from God in the areas of agriculture and solid minerals and anything that interferes with these will spell doom for the state especially as the nation moves towards true federalism and self-state determination,” Mr. Nweke said.
“Let it be known that what the state government did was not different from the monthly meeting of stakeholders especially farmers and herdsmen together with security agencies and in the said last meeting, no mention was made of any ranching, colony, grazing route or grazing reserve as wickedly and maliciously being speculated by Charles Ogbu and his cronies.”
Mr. Nweke said Ebonyi State cannot accommodate such wide wishes of ranching, grazing reserve, colony or whatever name as over 30 percent of its farmland had been taken over by solid minerals exploration which is being controlled by the federal government.
“We have managed our affairs with the herdsmen in the state relatively peacefully and circulation of such wicked and malicious speculation in the name of politics is a sign of danger not only for Ebonyi State but the entire country.”
The state government alleged that Mr. Ogbu was acting the script of distraction on behalf of his party, the All Progressive Congress.
“We therefore request the immediate arrest of Charles Ogbu and his backers to face the law of the state for spreading hate speeches and malicious misinformation through the social media”.
“The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Ebonyi State had reacted to this misinformation before now but the same Charles Ogbu has continued to spread this wicked information through social media, hence the need to correct the impression”
“We have absolute confidence that the Vice President-NEC Committee and other committees of good spirited Nigerians will find a lasting and permanent solutions to this unfortunate clashes and bring the satanic agents of this country in the likes of Charles Ogbu to shame.”