Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Monday called on the Federal Government to speak up on the herdsmen menace, insisting that clarifying the situation would help to douse tension in the country.
He, however, dashed the hopes of those clamouring for an anti-grazing law in the state, as a measure to curtail the excesses of the nomads, preferring a better solution to the incessant clashes between herdsmen and farmers.
Okowa stated this, while presenting 35 new Hilux vans to security agencies in the state, noting that there were better ways of dealing with the clashes, which have been yielding results in the state.
He said: “Anybody who carries arms in the name of herdsmen is a criminal, as they are not licensed. The state does not need a uniform security mechanism like Amotekun in the South West, but we need to improve on existing security architecture and synergy between stakeholders.
“There was need to be careful not to adopt laws that would be at variance with Federal Government’s laws. The South West states have studied their peculiar security situation and decided to adopt what was best for them.
“To strengthen community policing, we commend the Inspector General of Police (IGP) for being at the forefront in advocating community policing, as the best security mechanism to address crime across the country.”
Governor Okowa stressed that the Federal Government has a lot to do in addressing the security issues, noting, “Delta was not in isolation, as far as the security challenges in Nigeria are concerned.
“However, incidents of herders and farmers clashes, armed robbery, kidnapping and cultism were on the decline in the last few months.”
While expressing concerns about the attitude of criminally minded herdsmen, who invade communities and attempt to take over farmlands and brandishing AK 47 assault rifles, he further said, “As it concerns herdsmen menace, the Federal Government need to do a lot.
“We need strong statements on what should be done for the security agencies to better do their work.
“If you are going into any particular place, it is only fair that you don’t walk into a community and seize the place. That is not right and for anybody who carries arms in the name of a herdsman, it is obviously wrong. They are not licensed to carry arms, not to talk about AK 47 assault rifles and anyone seen carrying arms is a criminal.
“Beyond those that carry arms, you don’t walk into a farm and begin to graze on the farm land, that is not the way it should be. So, there are a whole lot of issues and we need strong voice from the federal authorities, which will assist security agencies to tackle security challenges in the country,” he said.