New CP reads riot act to kidnappers
Christopher Isiguzo and
Gideon Arinze in Enugu
Amidst heightening security threats in Enugu State, the leadership of the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) yesterday warned herdsmen in the state to avoid any form of confrontation with their host communities but to remain law-abiding.
The association also vowed to ensure that anyone whose herds destroyed crops would be made to pay just as any farmer who killed a cow would do the same.
The MACBAN’s position came as the new Enugu State Commissioner of Police, Ahmad Abdurrahaman, expressed his determination to improve the safety and security of people in the state.
AbdulRahman, who spoke at his maiden interface with Senior Officers, Divisional Police Officers and Heads of Department of the State Command, said his mission in the state was to serve and to ensure a safe and secured environment for all, adding that he is going to engage relevant stakeholders to reduce the incessant security worries in the state.
‘’We are to take the war to would-be criminals. We are not ready to give them breathing space through our visibility policing,’’ he said.
On extortion and corrupt tendencies among officers of the police force, he warned in strong term that such act would not be condone, noting that any one linked with any corrupt tendencies would be punished in line with the Police Act and regulations.
‘’Corruption debases our integrity. We need to shun corruption from all angles. We have to serve the people by being sincere, dedicated to duty and humble,’’ he said.
Meanwhile, on its part, the MACBAN and Ibagwa Nike community in Enugu East Local Government Area of the state yesterday reached a peace deal.
The deal was reached at a town hall meeting facilitated by the traditional ruler of the community, HRH Igwe Emmanuel Ugwu, which also had in attendance members of MACBAN and Sarki Hausa, Alhaji Yusuf Sambo.
Chairman of MACBAN in the state, Alhaji Ibrahim Umar, assured that their members would be cautioned not to destroy crops in the farms as they cherished the long-standing relationship with members of the community.
On his part, Mallam Mohammed Elias, a known herder in the state, said members of the community had been good to them as there had not been any form of infraction between them.
Ugwu explained that the meeting became necessary in order to ward off dangerous speculation of skirmishes between the community and herders.
The monarch, who is the grand patron of MACBAN in the South-east, said members of the community had continued to maintain cordial relationship with the herders in spite of obvious provocations.
He added that the meeting would also prepare the herders on how to comport themselves as the state government finalises arrangement to unleash the newly recruited forest guards against hoodlums in the state.
“The forest guards are not under me and that is one of the reasons I called you in order not to have problems. So, this meeting is to protect you,” he said. Ugwu, however, said he was unhappy by the activities of the herders who in spite of the kindness shown to them, had continued to destroy crops in farms belonging to members of the community.
The monarch noted that he was left in tears after an inspection of some farms destroyed by cows and wondered why some herders would leave their herds in the hands of smaller children.
He said in order to pacify growing tension in the community, a committee would be set up to inspect the farms, evaluate the worth of the destruction and negotiate compensation to be paid.
“I want us to continue to stay together in peace. Try and protect where you live as
we are protecting you,” Ugwu said.