Monday 16 May 2016

Anambra State tightens security around state’s borders over herdsmen attacks

Anambra State
Anambra State is tightening security around territorial borders, with an aerial police helicopter surveillance to search out enclaves of Fulani herdsmen in forests and bushes.

Governor Willie Obiano said that six camps of the herdsmen had been discovered at the neighbouring borders, though without any threat to the peace of the state.

He told reporters that the leaders of the Hausa-Fulani Community in the state had been instructed to visit those blocks and find out the identities of the various groups and inform them of the existing agreement between cattle herders and host communities.

Part of the agreement is a prohibition of the use of AK47 by herdsmen and the payment of compensation when farmlands are destroyed by herdsmen or cattle killed by any community.

Meanwhile, soldiers and other security agencies have been camped in Umumbo community where threats of attack from suspected herdsmen have been observed.

The aerial surveillance of the Police Helicopter covers major cities in Anambra state and then extends to interior areas and territorial borderlines of the state including thick forests, bushes and farmlands in search of any encampment of herdsmen anywhere for proper identification in order to forestall any possibilities of attack or clashes following the recent attack on a community in Enugu state.

The surveillance is the initiative of Governor Obiano with the assistance of the Inspector General of Police, as a measure to check the activities of herdsmen in and around the borderlines of the state.

According to the Governor, the surveillance has yielded fruits, as six blocks of unknown Fulani herdsmen have been discovered though without any threat to the peace of the state in the meantime.

Proactive actions for proper identification of the herders are being put in place through the Hausa-Fulani leaders in the state.

Aside the aerial surveillance, the Governor also enjoined the police to patrol with the smart cars provided by the state government in the night and ensure that herdsmen moving their cattle in the night do not constitute another menace on the roads either by causing accidents or blocking the road.

The State Commissioner of Police, Hassan Karma, said that the surveillance team was well equipped to track down criminals while also responding to distress calls from threatened communities.

Umumbo is one of the threatened communities in Ayamelum Local Government Area of the state which shares boundaries with Enugu state.

The surveillance team arrived with the Commander of 302 Artillery Regiment of Onitsha Military Cantonment, Colonel I.M. Abdullahi, to ascertain the security situation in the area of which he received assurances that everything was under control according to the President General of the community, Anthony Okafor.

Credit: Channels

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