Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
An appeal has gone to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Abubakar Adamu, and the Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Adeleke Adeleke, to use their good offices to urgently stop the criminal activities of Fulani herdsmen and killing of innocent Deltans in their farmlands.
The Executive Assistant (Communications) to the Delta State governor, Dr. Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe, made the call in a statement condemning the alleged killings of about 12 people in Ethiope East and Ukwuani Local Government Areas of the state recently.
He noted that the impunity of Fulani nomads in the state could lead to a breach of peace, law and order in the state if the relevant authorities, including the president and the police “fail to order the direct combing of the affected communities, arrest and prosecute the murderers who have caused pains, sorrow and agony to the deceased families.”
The legal practitioner particularly chided the IG and the state Police Commissioner “for folding their arms and doing nothing about criminal activities of the herdsmen,” saying the fact that there had been “no arrest and prosecution” of the criminal herders amounted to “obvious negligence of duty” on the part of the police authorities.
Oghenesivbe, who likened the criminal activities of the suspected Fulani herdsmen in the state to the mindless killings by Boko Haram insurgents, said: “Herdsmen do not rape women, young girls and kill people in farmlands; such criminal activities rest in the domain of terrorists such as Boko Haram, who are parading themselves as Fulani herdsmen in Delta State and across the country.
“The Chief Security Officer of the state, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, has limit as to his control of security operatives in the state due to the exclusive constitutional right of the federal government in the control of the police and other security agencies.
“As it is today, the state Commissioner of Police takes instructions directly from the IG while the IG is answerable to the president, which shows that the governor merely interacts with the commissioner of police and other heads of security agencies on how to better secure the state; assist security agencies financially, provide vehicles and equipment without corresponding powers to absolutely control their official activities, actions and inactions.
“It follows that as Chief Security Officer of Delta State, Okowa cannot issue orders that may bind or direct the heads of security agencies when it comes to complex and politically motivated criminal activities of some blood thirsty Fulani herdsmen in some communities in the state.
“Our people are running out of patient and it is morally and constitutional expedient for the president, the IG and police commissioner to confront these criminals parading themselves as Fulani herdsmen before our people lose their cool and resort to self-help and jungle justice.”