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Friday, 16 February 2018

Only dialogue can solve herders/farmers’ crises – IG

Only dialogue can solve herders/farmers’ crises – IG

Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris

* Ranching will stop killings – Adamu Aliero

The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has said that dialogue remains the only genuine approach to resolve the herdsmen/farmers’ crises across the country.

He said there was the need for Nigerians to shun inciting statements and stop playing politics with the crises.

The IG stated this on Thursday in Lagos at the public presentation of his book, titled, “Security and Justice: The Pathway for Peace and Reconciliation in Nigeria.”

Idris, however, maintained that the police and other security agencies had intensified efforts to arrest and prosecute perpetrators of the killings.

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He said the book identified various security challenges in the country, including the Boko Haram insurgency, kidnappings and cattle rustling and recommended timely prosecution and reconciliation as means of ensuring justice and peace in Nigeria.

He said, “These challenges, if not properly managed at the pace we are going, coupled with inflammatory and inciting statements, will tear this country apart and drag us into an unending crisis.

I am quite conscious that it is my responsibility as the IG, to put sufficient security architecture in place to manage the challenges and I can say with confidence that preventive and detective strategies have been put in place.

“…ethnic strife, religious and other crises can be avoided and peaceful coexistence and genuine reconciliation attained when the citizens feel secure and have a sense of justice and fairness.

For instance, the case of farmers/herders’ clashes is generating a lot of concern in Nigeria, especially in the recent clashes in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa states and other parts of the country.

“It is true that the President (Muhammadu Buhari) has mandated me and other security agencies to take appropriate steps to ensure the arrest and prosecution of the offenders.

This directive is being pursued with zeal but of utmost importance is that we must engage ourselves in serious conversation, avoid inflammatory comments or play politics with the issue.

This is the only way the country can secure genuine reconciliation among herders and farmers so that they can once again live in peace, harmony, love and avoid unnecessary loss of lives.”

In his address, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, said the current security challenges were envisaged about two decades ago, adding that the government was advised then to look into the country’s porous borders.

A former Ogun State governor, Segun Osoba, said devolution of powers and state policing would go a long way in resolving the challenges facing the country.

But a former governor of Kebbi State and member of the Senate, Adamu Aliero, has urged states in the North to establish cattle ranches to stop open grazing towards the southern part of the country.

Aliero said this in a statement issued in Abuja on Thursday, titled, ‘How to Stop the Farmers and Herdsmen’s Clashes Across Nigeria and Save Our Agriculture.’

He also charged states in the South to create ranches from which they could generate revenue.

Aliero said, “…To stop the increasing death toll across the country, I want to urge all states, particularly the 19 northern states, to urgently provide enabling laws to build ranches across the states, followed by a recall of all cattle currently grazing outside northern Nigeria.

“The ranches can be rented and reasonable fees charged in the course of time. In the short-term, however, the ranches should be free initially and steadily rise to a reasonable rent or a form of grazing tax introduced.

The governments can take a small percentage from the sale of cattle when this occurs, is another option that state governments can explore.”

Also, the Federal Road Safety Commission has lamented obstructions of major roads by herdsmen and their cattle in major cities across the country.

This, the FRSC noted, had been endangering the lives of Nigerians.

An Assistant Corps Marshal of the FRSC, Nwaka Agnes, said this in an interview with journalists on the sidelines of the foundation laying ceremony of an office block of the FRSC Zonal Command in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Thursday.

Also, some traditional rulers in Ondo State under the auspices of the 130 Crown Club on Thursday called on Governor Rotimi Akeredolu not to allow the controversial cattle colony to be established in the state.

In a communique issued at the end of their meeting held at the palace of the Ogbolu of Ita-Ogbolu in Akure North Local Government, Oba Idowu Faborode , the traditional rulers expressed worry over the frequent attacks of the herdsmen in different parts of the state in the recent time.

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The communique was read on behalf of the traditional rulers by the monarch of Ipe-Akoko, Oba Francis Apata. The Obas said there was a need for the country to be restructured.

Meanwhile, the Benue State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, on Thursday, said that one of its officers killed by herdsmen during the week was expecting the result of his promotion examination.

The command Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent of Corps ACP1, Peter Adakole, who gave the name of the victims as Abah Patrick, said that the victim sat for his promotion examination December, 2017.

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