Southeast Leaders Want Buhari To Declare Fulani Herdsmen Terrorist GroupFeatured, Latest News, News Thursday, February 13th, 2020
From Ignatius Okpara, Enugu
(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Religious leaders in South East Nigeria have raised the alarm over the current insecurity situation in parts of the country, particularly the nefarious activities of suspected Fulani Herdsmen in the region, urging the president Muhammad Buhari, led federal government to declare them terrorist group.
They said the Fulani herders have continued to wreak havoc in parts of Igbo land, adding that farmlands in the region have been devastated.
Speaking on behalf of other church leaders during the South East Geo-Political Zone Security summit with the theme: “Strategic Partnership for Effective Community policing in the South East Zone, Archbishop of Enugu Ecclesiastical Province of the Anglican Communion , Rev.(Dr.) Emmanuel Chukwuma, insisted that the rate of killings carried out by the herdsmen on religious leaders, which have often gone unpunished, has become devastating.
He however, warned that if nothing was done to deal with the challenge, the church will be left with no other option than to resort to self-help.
According to him, “As a church, we have measures, both physical and spiritual that we can adopt to protect ourselves from this spate of killings, but we do not want to take laws into our hands.
The cleric noted that the activities of herdsmen, including kidnapping and destruction of crops on farmlands has had adverse effect on the country’s economy over the years.
“Our women cannot go to their farmlands anymore for fear of being killed by herdsmen who allow their cows to destroy farms and the government is not doing anything about it” he said.
He posited that the FG has not won the war against Boko Haram, as it has claimed, adding that it must make efforts to secure lives and property of citizens in the country.
“Our people are beginning to lose confidence on the government’s ability to protect their lives” we do hope that the idea of community policing, initiated by the Inspector General of Police will go a long way in dealing with the change of insecurity” he noted.
Meanwhile, Governors of the zone, have endorsed the new community policing model of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), initiated by the Inspector General of police IGP, Mr Mohammed Adamu for effective security in the zone.
The governors in a communiqué read by the Governor of Ebonyi State and Chairman of the South East Governors Forum, Engr. David Umahi, at the summit noted that contents of the new community policing strategies of the police were not different from their security measures already in place in the zone.
Umahi hinted that Governors of the zone, before the summit, had a closed-door meeting with the Inspector General of Police, at the Government House, Enugu, where the police chief explained to them extensively the concept and effectiveness of the community policing in addressing security challenges in the zone.
Umahi added that all security concerns raised by the traditional and religious leaders in the South East zone, including those presented by the Imeobi (caucus of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, at the last meeting of the South East Governors’ Forum, have been addressed in the community policing strategy of the Nigeria Police Force.
The governor who maintained that the people of the zone will begin to see a lot of positive; as fallout of the summit, pointed out the governors have agreed to invest in social intervention programmes for teeming youths.
He said: “The community policing was proper and explained to us in full details and it is not different from our Neighbourhood Watch and the Vigilante operation, the forest guard, the gate keepers, the herdsmen and farmers conflict committees and others.
“And so, we saw that this is totally in tandem with what we pray. We decided as your governors to embrace this initiative of community policing, which is an official endorsement in line with what the police and what we are doing to safeguard the lives and property of our people”.
In his speech, IGP Adamu Abubakar, who described the South East summit as the best in the country, noted that the event was “convened within the framework of our community policing initiative and as part of the strategies of Nigerian Police to employ all-inclusive strategy towards helping us in the achievement of our internal security management, particularly in the South Eastern states”.
The Nigerian police boss, disclosed that the community policing approach was necessitated by the increasing complexity of crime and the challenges of policing the vast and diverse country such as Nigeria, stressing that “this requires that the Nigerian police should continually engage the citizens in seeking their input and soliciting their support”.
He appreciated the governors of the South East, the traditional rulers, religious leaders and other stakeholders across the states of the zone for their active participation in the event which he said was “the 6th and the best of the security summits” across the six geo-political zones of the country.
“All the summits ended in a very successful outcome and I am delighted to confirm that the strategies jointly developed as well as the partnership built at the meetings that were so far held, have been effective in addressing the security tricks that are peculiar to each of the geo-political zones.”
In his remark, president-general of apex Igbo socio cultural organization, Ohaneze Indigbo, chief Nnia Nwodo, had decried the alarming rate of police and military extortion of commercial motorists in the south east zone, adding that the numerous checkpoints in the region have been turned into tollgates by the security men.
He said following the misconduct of the security operatives in the zone, the people of the region have lost confidence on them, especially the police, calling on the IGP, to look into the issue.
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