Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has confirmed that most of the kidnappings in the state were carried out by Hausa/Fulani herdsmen in connivance with some locals.
Speaking through his Special Adviser on Rural Development and Peace-building, Chief Edwin Uzor, in Effurun, the governor said his administration had done a lot to ensure clashes between herdsmen and Deltans were reduced to the barest minimum.
The town hall meeting was put together by a non-governmental organization, LITE-Africa, to flag off the National Initiative for Sustainable Peace Building Architecture, NISPA, action in Delta State, funded by the European Union, EU, and Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.
The initiative is a pilot scheme in Delta, Enugu and Benue states to bring together ex-militants, herdsmen, farmers, opinion leaders, security agencies, critical actors and stakeholders to dialogue and develop a state-level peace plan that will shape a national level policy dialogue on peace and security.
Okowa said, “There would have been much more killings but for our consultations.
“Most of the kidnappings in the state are perpetrated by the Hausa/Fulani in connivance with some of our people.
In his part, Commissioner of Police in the state, Ibrahim Zanna said, “Yes, a lot of these herdsmen and people of Hausa extraction have been found to be involved in heinous crimes.
“I have records to show that almost everybody that you know is involved in this whole thing. Whether it is an indigene or a non-indigene, they are all involved in this thing.
“I have close to about 112 kidnappers in my custody as at today and the summary of the statistics shows otherwise.
“For Delta State, we have 80; Anambra 9, Adamawa 8, Taraba 3, Niger 3, Imo 2, Edo 1, Bayelsa 1, Rivers 1, Akwa Ibom 1, Enugu 1, Sokoto 2, Plateau 1 and Kaduna 1.
“So it (kidnapping) does not have boundaries, it depends on what the Governor is furnished with.
“So I would not want to contradict him as he obviously has his reasons for saying that. But the statistics I have is what I am talking about.
The governor said the initiative was in consonance with world best practices, but expressed dismay that in spite of several successes recorded on peace buildings, extremism was still prevalent.
Okowa tasked the federal government on the menace of the Fulani herdsmen, advising it to develop a policy framework to checkmate the ugly trend with a view to entrenching lasting peace and stability in the country.
Leave A Response