Edo Advocates Task Force, Monitoring Units on  Herdsmen, Illegal Migration, Human Trafficking

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By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City

To effectively tackle the problems of herdsmen, illegal migration, human trafficking, kidnapping and other criminal activities in Edo State a security was yesterday held at the instance of the Oba of Benin in his palace.

At the end of the meeting, stakeholders called for the formation of task force at the three senatorial districts, the formation of committees and monitoring units at local and state levels to check all criminal activities in the state.

Besides, a committee headed by the commissioner of police, Johnson Babatunde Kokumo was set up to help develop a template that would be used by the State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs in achieving the desired peace and tranquility in the state.

Meanwhile, the various security chiefs who also attended the meeting, agreed to implement the decisions reached so far as it would bring peace and tranquility to the state.

They however requested for adequate logistics to enable them effectively tackle the security challenges in the state, just as they called for the provision of enough vehicles and communication equipment to enable them respond to emergency or distress calls.

They also called on Enigie, Edionwere and Village Heads to provide security agents with useful information that would enable them track down criminal elements in the society.

Earlier, the Oba of Benin, Ewuare II, said the purpose of the meeting was to hear from the security agencies the state of affairs with regard to security issues in the state, with a view of rubbing minds on the way out of the problem.

The Oba who expressed worries over the activities of herdsmen, illegal migration and human trafficking, said since 2015, he had started putting plans together to tackle the problems.

He told the security chiefs that security challenges were disturbing the peace, tranquility and development of the state, hence the urgent need to find lasting solution to the problem.

The Benin Monarch assured them that he would continue to do more to ensure that the people enjoyed relative peace and sleep with their two eyes closed, assuring the security chiefs that whatever logistic requests they made that would ensure the effective security of the state, would be communicated to the State Government for immediate action.

In his comment, the Iyase of Benin, Chief Sam Igbe, lamented the atrocities committed by herdsmen in the state, and wondered why nobody was doing anything about the killings, raping and destruction of farms.

Other Enigie and Chiefs that spoke said the cattle herdsmen had other intention apart from rearing their cattle, and stressed the need for the cattle owners to develop ranches for their business.

They called for the establishment of community police and vigilance groups to complement the effort of the security agencies.

The leaders of the Hausa, Fulani and Nupe communities in Edo State in their separate remarks said cattle dealers were part of the problem, and stressed the need for concerted efforts to ensure that herdsmen who destroy farms were made to pay for them.

They promised to hold meetings with village heads in the various local governments to sensitise them on how to handle the issue of  herdsmen.

The meeting was attended by the various heads of security agencies in the state including the Police, the Army, the Directorate of State Security, the immigration, Prisons and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp.

Others are Enigie, leaders of the Hausa, Fulani and Nupe communities in Edo State as well as the Vice Chairmen of the Edo State Council of Traditional rulers and Chiefs.