Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has said a strong statement from President Muhammadu Buhari would end killings by Fulani herdsmen across the country.
Okowa, while expressing worry over spread of killings by Fulani herdsmen to some other parts of the country like Abuja, said security agencies needed to disarm herdsmen of their rifles.
According to him, herdsmen should not be empowered to carry guns, riffles and roam in people’s farms except if they were members of security agency.
Okowa speaking further on security issues in the country blamed the inability of federal government to fulfil its promises to Pan Niger Delta Forum as reason for latest threats by the Niger Delta avengers.
He told Sun “Well, I actually think that there is a lot that needs to be done about increasing herdsmen attacks. This problem has been on in the last few years, but it appears to have taken a new dimension now. Because the killings you are hearing about now, yes because of the large numbers in Benue and Taraba States.
“It is coming to the fore, but you find those killings everywhere. Even as I was here (in Abuja,) I got a report that somebody was killed in my state by one of the herdsmen.
“I think that the security agencies must stand up to this very wrong approach to the issues of cattle rearing because when people come out and they carry guns, I don’t think that that was what used to happen in the past. Because in the past we used to see herdsmen, they come in; they relate with the people in the various villages, that is not the position at the moment. But when you just stroll into people’s farms, stroll into people’s lands and continue to do all manner of things, it is not right.
“I believe that there has to be a strong statement coming out from the presidency and such strong statements from President Buhari will possibly spur the Security agencies to take appropriate actions.
“First I believe that every herdsman must be totally disarmed because it is not the right thing to do, I don’t think that they are empowered to carry guns as they do, no Nigerian is empowered to carry such riffles except if they are members of security agency. So, we must do that.
“Delta State is unhappy that the federal government is yet to fulfil its promises to the Pan Niger Delta Forum, (PANDEF), two years after the promises were made.FG’s inability to fulfil the promises was responsible for the latest threats by the Niger Delta Avengers. ”
Recall that the Niger Delta Avengers threatened to resume hostility in the oil-rich region.
On the proposed cattle colony, Okowa added that the state does not have enough land for that.
“In the first instance you know that Delta State is possibly half of water, half of land. So, obviously we are in need of land,” he said.