IG Links Herdsmen’s Violence to Libya, Others

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*Assures they won’t degenerate into Boko Haram

Yemi Akinsuyi in Abuja

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP, Mr. Solomon Arase, has hinted at the possibility that the arms borne by herdsmen and their violence may have some link with the crises in Libya, Chad and Mali.

He, however, allayed fears of that the herdsmen may grow to become Boko Haram terrorists.

According to him: “I have repeatedly said that what is happening has to be placed against the background of what is happening in African sub-region. When you look at the period when these things started happening and the crises with migrants and then the flow of arms across our borders, then you will understand what is happening.

“We have been living with our own indigenous herdsmen for many years. So, why is it now that there are crises in Mali, Libya, Chad and the proliferation of firearms that the herdsmen are becoming more prevalent in the system?

“We have to look at it against that background and maybe they have indigenous collaborators but we will not allow them and it will not degenerate into Boko Haram. We will continue to monitor them, degrade them and continue to amputate them whenever they come up”.

Arase said that the 10,000 officers that will be recruited into the Nigeria Police Force will be trained with stun guns.

Speaking during a chat with journalists on Saturday in Abuja, he explained that stun guns are now becoming internationally prevalent as they aid in the reduction of casualties associated with the misuse of firearms.

The police chief also said that training colleges across the country are equipped to accommodate the officers that will be recruited.

Arase stated that the recruitment process will be transparent but that most of the applicants will be disqualified because of their age, qualifications, and other important criteria.

According to him: “We want to migrate from the use of firearms in patrols in main cities and we have ordered for stun guns.

“The people that will be recruited will be mostly with stun guns because that is what is prevalent internationally and stun guns are very effective because they can incapacitate temporarily without killing.

On the amount that will be spent to acquire non-lethal arms, he said: “I cannot put a cost to it because they are not manufactured in Nigeria and you cannot pick them up on the shelve. So, it takes time and it is also susceptible to fluctuation in foreign currency.”

Speaking on the training facilities and the recruitment process, he said: “The 10,000 police officers will not be trained in one place. We have training schools scattered around the country and we are going to group them into the six geo-political zones.

“The training schools in those particular zones will cater for the people in the zones and by doing that, I think we have been able to intervene as it concerns training and the intervention is still ongoing but I think the facilities there are good enough to welcome them into school.”

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