The Police and other sister’s agencies in Delta State have assured the Delta Livestock Management Committee (DLMC) of support for the peaceful implementation of the livestock law to end the herders and farmers crisis in the state.
The Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and the Department of State Services (DSS), made the pledge when the DLMC Chairman, Chief Julius Egbedi, led its members on a consultation visit to the various agencies on Thursday in Asaba.
The Commissioner of Police, Delta Command, CP Muhammed Ari, while assuring the committee of support, called for synergy and collective action.
Ari said he is pleased to hear that the committee has been in touch with the traditional rulers, the Miyetti Allah group, farmers and other critical stakeholders and still consulting before the full implementation of the law.
He noted that there is no doubt that both the farmers and herders need a peaceful environment to do their businesses without conflict.
According to Ari, the biggest task is in the enforcement of the law and the police can’t do this alone.
“We pray that the various communities would cooperate and allocate lands to cattle dealers to graze their cattle.
“We need to support each other to succeed; the governor that I know is prepared and I want to assure you that the project will work.
“I want to assure you that the support you need, you will get from this office.”
On his part, Ademola Adebiyi, Assistant Director-General, DSS, also called for synergy among the various security outfits and assured the committee of intelligence report vital to promoting and sustaining peace in the state.
He, however, advised the government on the need to own its ranching to promote healthy dairy and meat for public consumption, economic empowerment and job creation.
While lauding the creation of the committee, he condemned the politicising of issues on grazing in the country, adding that the livestock law would foster peace and unity among farmers and herdsmen in the state.
Also, the State NSCDC Commandant, Akinsanya Iskilu, said his men are ready to provide the needed security support to ensure peace in the state.
According to him, one of the core mandates of the NSCDC in the agro-rangers; is to provide physical security to agro-allied industries which include protecting farmers and herders as they carry out their businesses.
“A nation that neglects agriculture has neglected development because every development revolves around agriculture”.
Earlier, Egbedi, also the Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said that the visit is to intimate them of the existing Livestock law and to seek their support for a peaceful implementation to ensure that the herders and farmers in the state go about their businesses without conflict.
He said that since the setting up of the committee by Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, the DLMC has been on consultation visits and meeting with critical stakeholders of which the command is one.
He said that the committee is consulting with the various communities and their leaders for available land areas for cattle dealers to acquire for grazing purposes.
According to Egbedi, the incessant conflict between the herders and farmers has been a torn in the economy of the state, hence the law to address the rinsing issues and check the menace.
“We have met with traditional rulers, the Miyetri Allah and farmers in Asaba and recently in Ughelli, in Ughelli North Local Government Area on a peace-meeting with the Uwheru community and herders but the herders we met are not those in the forest.
“This peace move became necessary to educate them on the law and to stop the situation in Uwheru from degenerating into crisis because some time ago in Uwheru community, 10 persons were killed in the crisis.
“The meeting threw up some useful information that those herders in the forest are from other states and some of the cow owners are from Owerri in Imo state and we shall track them,” he said.
Egbedi said that the state government would set up committees in the various LGAs and also engage the services of Agro-Rangers and forest guards to ensure safety because “we all need peace to do our businesses.
“There must be a synergy to enable our farmers and herders to do their businesses peacefully, this is why we are here to seek your assistance.”