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.
He said the state government also condemned the destruction of farmlands by cows grazing openly.
This came as the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, yesterday, warned herdsmen to obey the order of South East governors on open grazing or relocate elsewhere.
The Abia State commissioner said Okezie Ikpeazu, the state governor, has directed security operatives to investigate the destruction of farmlands and the kidnapping cases in Abia north senatorial district.
He asked residents to go about their daily activities because the state government is responding to the situation.
“Abia State Government wishes to condemn in its entirety the recent destruction of farmlands by cows grazing openly in violation of extant laws of the state and Nigeria,” he said.
“It also condemns, without reservations, the activities of criminal herdsmen suspected to have masterminded 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 at the wanton destruction of cows by yet to be identified individuals whose aim is to exacerbate already existing tensions.
“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 issued a 14-day ultimatum to south-east governors to enforce the anti-grazing law.