By Amos Tauna
Kaduna (Nigeria) – Inspector General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Kpotun Idris, has said that clashes between farmers and herders in Nigeria, can only be reduced if state governments establish grazing ranches in their various states before enacting laws to prohibit open rearing and grazing.
“It is when grazing ranches are established that herders can be arrested and punished for rearing and grazing on the open places,” he maintained.
The Inspector General stated this in Kaduna, Northwest of the country Wednesday at a security submit with the theme “Nation Building: Security Questions, The Need For Inclusive Approach”.
“I have visited Benue and Nasarawa States and observed that the crisis trailing the Benue State prohibition of open rearing and grazing of livestock would have been mitigated.”
On the clashes in Zamfara State, he said, “l have equally set up an investigative panel headed by an Assistant Inspector of Police in-charge of Police Intelligence to discreetly investigate the matter and ensure that persons responsible for the killing are arrested and prosecuted. Some arrests have already been made and the outcome of investigation will be made known soonest.”
He noted that the security architecture and infrastructure of any nation was not strong without the people, adding, “l urge you to stand strong with the Police in the fight against criminality. The Police under my watch is more committed than ever to defeat all security challenges confronting us but we cannot succeed without you. We need the support of the people to be effective.
“I know that one of the challenges of effective cooperation and collaboration between the people and their police is the distrust among them. I have worked to improve the image of the Force to win the hearts and mind of the people. I have institutionalised the code of conduct for the Police known as ‘OUR CREED’ in addition to the Police Act and regulations.
“This creed is to ensure that the conducts of our Police Officers both while on duty and off duty are in line with international good practices and promotes the respect for the rights of the citizens. It is the good image of the Police and the respects for the rights of the citizens that will endear the people to their Police and invariably lead to improved sharing of information with the Police. “
He explained that the issue of herders and farmers clashes was generating a lot of concern in Nigeria in Benue, Taraba, Adamawa and other states. “Let me use this opportunity to assure all Nigerians, that the President has mandated me to adopt strategies effective enough to end the recurring herders/farmers clashes in Nigeria.
“It must however be noted the farmers/herders clashes did not start with this administration, yet this administration has taken more measures to end the crisis than any previous regimes. The Police have made some arrest in Benue and other places. The full wrath of the law will be brought on anybody found guilty by the Law Courts as they will not be any scared cow,” he added.
On insurgency in the North East, he said, “The collaborative efforts of the military from December till now, the Police have arrested over 200 kidnappers, armed robbery and cattle rustling suspects in various parts of the country.
“Over 50 AK 47 rifles, twenty English made pistols, two SMG rifles, over 1,000 rounds of AK 47 rifles and other assorted pistols ammunition were recovered from them.”
The IGP observed that the recoveries of assorted rifles raises serious alarm on the number of illegal arms and ammunition at the disposal of criminals and bandits, adding that it must not be allowed to continue as the 2019 general elections is fast approaching.
“To stop this trend, l have directed all Commissioners of Police in the States Commands and their supervisory AIGs to ensure the mop up of illegal acquired arms and ammunition in the country,” he said.