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Enugu State Opposes Grazing Reserves — Deputy Gov

The Enugu State Government has opposed the creation of grazing reserves across the country following the invasion of Nimbo community in the state by suspected herdsmen.

The Deputy Governor of the State, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, made the declaration in Enugu on Friday while presenting the government’s position on the incident to the Defence Headquarters Committee on Persistent Clashes between Herdsmen and Farmers in Nigeria.

The committee led by Maj.-Gen. Edward Nze was in the state on the mandate of the chief of defence staff to find a lasting solution to menace of herdsmen in the country.

Ezeilo recommended that the Federal Government should create ranches to reduce the clashes between herdsmen and farmers.

In the document, the state government called for immediate disarmament of the herdsmen across the country and a proper screening by the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to repatriate the aliens among them.

It also said that in discussions with herdsmen, they accused the Shua Arabs headed by one Ahmed Adamu who was included in a peace committee as a major culprit in the security challenges.

“There should be immediate disarmament of the herdsmen across the country, as they carry sophisticated weapons such as AK-47.

“Adequate measures should be taken to ensure proper policing of the country’s borders to check the influx of irregular aliens and security men equipped to face challenges,” it stated.

The state government called for a proper investigation into the circumstances that surrounded the invasion of the community where scores of residents were killed and compensations paid.

“Having spent enormous resources in the construction of a heliport for the Nigeria Police Force in Enugu, the state government calls for effective use of the facility with regard to fighting crime.

“Network providers should be made to provide network services to rural communities to enable security experts perform maximally and to share information among the citizenry,” it stated.

The document was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Gabriel Ajah.

Earlier, the leader of the delegation said that there was a compelling need for a military action to curtail the aspect of criminality and terrorism of the herdsmen.

Nze said that all levels of government must rise to the occasion to defeat the marauders.

“The conflict between herdsmen and farmers has escalated over the last decade with adverse impact on national security and could lead to other consequences if not checked.

“There must be a military solution to this problem because we observe that some elements of criminality and terrorism have reared their head in it,” he said.

He said that the incidence in Enugu State had given impetus to the directive of the chief of defence staff on the urgent need to stop the marauders forthwith.

Nze said that the committee was set up to ensure a coordinated action against the menace, saying that it was unfortunate that the committee was in Nasarawa State when the marauders struck in Nimbo community.

“We were slated to visit Enugu State on April 27 following a letter dated April 13 from the chief of defence staff to that effect,” Nze said. (NAN)

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