Abia State Police Command Holds Herdsmen/farmers resolution meeting

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As part of concerted efforts to curb the perennial conflict between  herdsmen and farmers in various parts of Abia State,henceforth, herdsmen entering into the State will be documented and profiled.


This was part of the decision reached at the end of a town hall meeting between herdsmen and farmers organised by the Abia State police command.


A 22 point communique unanimously signed by representatives of both parties mandated the Abia State Government through the State House of Assembly to come up with a resolution concerning farmers and herdsmen relationship.


It further stipulates that no herdsmen should allow his cattle damage any farmland pointing out that all matters related to conflict between both parties should be referred to the committee constituted in each local government area.


Part of the communique reads: "On no account should herdsmen or anybody be in possession of prohibited arms or any illegal weapon without permit by relevant authorities. That all residents must screen incoming ones and recommend them for settlement within a particular local government.


"That no herdsmen should harass or intimidate any farm owner vice versa. There should be no grazing at night. All cattle owners should ensure that their castles are restricted during the nights possibly by tying them to stakes. On no account should either a farmer or herdsmen resort to violence no matter the level of provocation but should instead seek redress through due process".


Speaking at the event,  the state commissioner of Police Mr. Leye Oyebade harped on the need for unity and peaceful co-existence between the interest groups pointing out that the unity of the country is paramount and cannot be negotiated.


He said the meeting was imperative as the police force in its proactive measures wants to prevent unnecessary deaths and  conflicts adding that it does not want a re-occurance of want is happening between herdsmen and farmers in other states.


Oyebade who charged traditional rulers to carry their subjects  along in decisions concerning lease of lands to cattle herdsmen to avoid friction,also called on the Divisional Police Officers(DPO) in charge of the affected areas to consult the communities stakeholders in order to constitute a formidable leadership that will interface with the two parties involved and chart a way forward. 


He expressed optimism that the herdsmen and farmers conflict resolution committee set up by the state government will work to achieve its aim.


In his submission the member representing Arochukwu Constituency in the state House of Assembly, Hon Luke Ukara said that there is an already existing law known as the straw animal law of Abia State which has not been enforced due to logistics and called on the committee to carry along the state house of Assembly in its decision. 


Speaking earlier, representatives /leadership of the farmers association and herdsmen including Chief Dunlop Okoro, prof Ukpabi Joseph Ukpabi, Sarkin Yaro Danladi, Alhaji Hassan Boba, and Chief Nwogwugwu Uzoma among others, harped on the need for peaceful co-existence between the two parties.


Our Correspondent reports that the meeting which was held at the Police Officers Mess Umuahia, featured interactive seesion/general discussion and was attended by the Abia State Governor Okezie Ikpeazu represented by the Deputy Chief of Staff, office of the Governor, chief Ukpai Agwu Ukpai, State Director sss, KSB Amoju, special adviser to the Governor on security matters Capt. Awa rtd. Chairman South East traditional rulers council, eze Eberechi Dick, Hausa and Fulani communities, T. C chairmen and DPOs of the affected communities as well as representatives farmers and herdsmen and other stakeholders.


Posted on September, 9 2016

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