By David-Chyddy Eleke
Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has declared that any herdsman found carrying gun(s) in the state should be treated as a criminal.
The governor said it was unwise to treat them with levity, adding that a fresh census for all herdsmen in the state has commenced, and that once the exercise was concluded, the state will no longer tolerate itinerant herders settling in the state, or even passing through the state with their herds.
Obiano stated this yesterday at a stakeholders’ meeting on security with heads of various communities, security chiefs, traditional rulers and other groups, on the need to maintain security in the state.
According to the governor, “We did census of herders in Anambra State last year, and they were 77. We are doing a new one now, and after the census, we will never allow itinerant herdsmen to come to our state again.
“The ones causing trouble are not here (Anambra), they come in from outside. Also, we have heard reports of herdsmen who carry arms. Any herdsman carrying arm is a criminal, and we will not tolerate that. If you find them, report them because they are criminals.
“We have prosecuted some in the past. We will not allow itinerant herdsmen to pass through Anambra State after the census. We will have the names, phone numbers and address of all herdsmen in the state, and we will be holding meetings with them at intervals.”
The governor also said his government takes security seriously, because the state has been proclaimed as the safest in the country. He added that his administration has been very supportive of security agencies in the state, “as security remained everyone’s business.
“Anything about security is a priority for me. We thank our security agencies for keeping Anambra on the high as the safest state in Nigeria.
“I have distributed over 520 vehicles to security agencies in the state, and I made a designated petrol station where you can fuel your vehicles to avoid not having fuel when you get distress calls. Today, every police vehicle you see running around is fueled by me,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, has lamented the devastating effect of drug and cultism in the society, saying they are the twin cause of insecurity in the country.
Adamu, who was represented at the forum by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of Finance and Administration, Joseph Egbunike, stated this at the forum, while also charging his men to nip it in the bud.
The police boss said: “Drug and cultism are the greatest challenges we have in Nigeria today. When they take these drugs, they do not know the value of life any longer. That is the problem we have in the country, but it is the responsibility of everybody to ensure that it stops.
“If you allow drug to fester in your division, there are chances that you may be a victim of it. You must work to bring down the use of drug in your areas. There must be synergy with NDLEA to ensure that this is brought down. You must work hard, and let those who can change be changed.
“Security is everyone’s business. Don’t rest because if you do, what happens in Sokoto may start happening here. Certain things should not be allowed to happen in Anambra State. Peace is the only vehicle for any development. There is no alternative to it.”
In his response, Obiano charged leaders in various communities to bring the youths into leadership in a bid to curb the use of drugs.
“During the #EndSARS protest, the security agents were demoralised, and could not even move around in their uniforms, but the youths stepped in to do their work. That is what we want it to be. Security is the duty of everyone, even though it is the government’s duty to secure lives and property,” he stated.