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Saturday, 7 May 2016

Imo CP, Lakanu Meets Herdsmen, As Gov Ikpeazu Orders Return Of Bakassi Boys In Abia


As part of efforts to ensure mutual understanding and peaceful co- existence between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in Imo State, the State Commissioner of Police, CP Taiwo Lakanu, fdc on 5th May, 2016 at the Area Command Headquarters, Okigwe held a meeting with herdsmen and Community leaders in the area.

 A statement from the State Police command said the meeting which is sequel to the prevailing security situation in the country at the moment is a proactive step towards preventing clashes between the two groups.

During the meeting, the Commissioner of Police preached peaceful coexistence between herdsmen and their host communities. The Commissioner of Police advised herdsmen to refrain from taking their herds to people’s farm while communities should live in harmony with their non indigenes.

 In attendance during the meeting were, the Transitional Committee Chairman of Okigwe LGA, Hon. Sunny Chiadi, the Chairman Council of Traditional Rulers of Okigwe LGA HRH Eze Bernard Alisi, members of the Hausa/Fulani cattle rearers, other members of the community as well as security Operatives.

HRH Eze Bernard Alisi and the Secretary-General of the Hausa/Fulani cattle rearers in their respective contributions expressed appreciation to the Commissioner of Police’s visit to their area stating that both the community and the herdsmen have been in apprehension following the incidents of attacks that occurred in Nasarawa, Benue and Enugu States, respectively. They however, assured the Commissioner of Police of their preparedness to ensure peaceful coexistence of indigenes and non indigenes, noting that they have lived in peace over the years.

Meanwhile, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has announced far-reaching measures to enhance community policing and curtail future ethnic clashes in the state.
The announcement came hours after violent clashes in Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the state, left at least one person dead.

The clashes occurred between Igbo traders and members of the Hausa community.
A statement by Godwin Adindu, the chief press secretary to the governor, said the governor had ordered the revival of the moribund state-owned vigilante group, the Abia State Vigilante Services (AVS), to enhance community policing.

To this effect, the government has directed all traditional rulers in the state to put forward names of 10 youth from their communities to be enlisted into the AVS.

According to the statement the government also directed that all enlisted operatives of the AVS should proceed on two-week training before being deployed to their communities.

“He has also directed the men of the Abia State Vigilante Services (AVS) 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.

“All Traditional Rulers in the state have been directed to submit names of 10 able-bodied youths from their community to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs from Tuesday 10th to Wednesday 11th May 2016. These youths will be enlisted into the Abia State Vigilante Services (AVS) to further boost community policing in the state,” the statement said.

The Abia government further announced the creation of a Farmers/Herdsmen Conflict Resolution Committee to be headed by the state commissioner of police to resolve future conflict between herdsmen and farmers.

Other members of the committee include: the brigade commander, state director of Department of State Services (DSS), state Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corp (NSCDC), the naval commander, special adviser to the governor on security, special adviser to the governor on special duties, state chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), representatives of Myati Allah cattle dealers’ and the leader of the Hausa community in the state, Sarikin Hausawa.

He also directed that the committee should be replicated in the 17 local governments of the state and should include the local heads of all security agencies.

The news of the creation of the Farmer/ herdsmen committee will be seen as a departure from the belligerent position of some South East groups which ordered herdsmen out of the region following the attack at Nimbo, Enugu last month that left at least 20 people dead.

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