Association of South East Town Unions (ASETU) has cried out over alleged occupation of farmlands in the zone by herdsmen.
It said the action posed grave danger to food cultivation in the new planting season and would hamper food security in the region.
ASETU’s National President, Emeka Diwe, spoke when he received an award of recognition from the Forum of Imo Columnists and Editors in Owerri.
He reiterated that enactment of anti-open grazing laws in the South East states was the only solution to the issue.
Diwe said the association had, out of frustration in the past, made representations to the United Nations and the United States of America government over the matter, adding that never again shall they allow their innocent men and women to be murdered by these herdsmen.
“We have written the South East governors and all the Houses of Assembly thrice in three years over the need for these laws.
“Such laws, as we have since conceptualised, will define an enforceable framework that takes cognisance of appropriate punishment to defaulting herdsmen, restitution to victims and restoration of losses.
“The laws will also restore hope and confidence to our poor and defenceless people at the grassroots. It is unfortunate that till this day, the laws have not been enacted.
“The farming season is fast approaching. Our farmlands are occupied and our rural farmers do not find it safe anymore to go to their farmlands. When this reality of low farm productivity combines with the glaring economic recession in the country, you can see that the food insecurity in Igboland will be aggravated, and hunger, crime and other social vices will escalate.
“The governors must therefore rise now and act. Igboland must be made safe now,” Diwe said.