By Emma OBIAMIWE Senior Investigator Correspondent Asaba/
THE incessant attacks, murder and rape of women allegedly by armed Fulani herdsmen on farmers in Delta State may soon be history with the recent assurance coming from the Commissioner of Police Delta State Police Command, CP Muhammed Ari Ali, himself a northerner. Sources said a visibly piqued CP who stood throughout his address with native farmers and Fulani heders in the state in a marathon meeting Thursday, preached peace urging the foreigners and native farmers to cultivate the culture of living together as one; but was quick to warn that any Fulani herdsman spotted with Ak 47 or any rifle whatsoever, would be arrested and treated like a criminal. According to sources, the all crucial meeting which had in attendance prominent natives, all DPOs, most heders was also graced by representave of the Delta State Governor, Senator Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa; Hon. David Tonwe, the DG on security in the state. A statement signed by the command’s PRO DSP Bright Edafe and made available to CrimeWorld magazine online conveying CP Ali’s stand, said all heders would henceforth be registered and bear identification card as a way of identifying criminally minded heders from peace loving ones. The police boss was quoted as saying cattle are important to heders as crops are important to farmers stressing that there was need for mutual relationship. He added that there was need for statistical record on the influx of cattle in the state. The statement reads: “The Commissioner of Police Delta State, CP Ari Muhammed Ali Fcia Psc+ today, held a very crucial interactive section with farmers/herders in Delta State, the meeting which started at about 1215hours was attended by host of farmers and herders, his Excellency the Governor of Delta State sen. Dr Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa was represented by Hon David Tonwe, Director- General on security in Delta State, The DG in his speech made it clear that the purpose for the crucial meeting is to discuss issues that will bring about peaceful coexistences between the herders and farmers. He said that Its very important for them to live in peace and set a good example for others to follow. Suggestions were raised by both the herders and farmers, which include 1. statistics of cows that enters the state, 2. All herders should have an Identity card, 3. Underage boys should not be allowed to carry cattle’s, 4. night grazing should be banned completely, 5. Herders that live and stay in Delta State should be differentiated from herders that came from neighboring state 6. Herders were also advised to stop taking their cows to peoples farm. The Commissioner of Police made it known that as much as the cattle are important to the herders, farm produces are also important to farmers, so there is need to deliberate and see how these issues can be resolved. After listening to the complaint/suggestions of both the herders and farmers, the Commissioner of Police made it clear that Delta state Police Command will not tolerate anybody bearing AK47 rifles in the name of cattle rearing as herdsmen are not known to carry AK47 rifle, he said these set of people are criminals and must be treated as such. He said they should not be tolerated, because tolerating them means adding to the already tensed security situation in the country.
Continuing,the statement added, “He advised all stake holders present, that the activities of these herders who bear arms must be monitored, checkmated and reported to the Police immediately. The Commissioner of Police therefore, assured all that criminal minded herders will never have a free ride under his watch, as they will be made to face the wrath of the law.”
*A cross section of participants at the meeting…