The Commissioner of Police Ebonyi State command, CP Awosola Awotinde on Friday warned herdsmen residing in various communities of the state to observe laws guiding such areas to avert clashes with farmers.
Awotinde gave the charge in Abakaliki during an interactive meeting with herdsmen in the state.
He warned that the command will not hesitate to deal with anyone trying to truncate existing peace in the state.
He advised the herdsmen to work with community police, the Divisional police officers (DPOs), and Divisional Commissioner offices (DCOs) to strengthen peace in their localities.
He however, urged them to stop reporting minor issues to his office without first reporting to the DPO and DCOs.
The CP disclosed that the police is working hard to protect the lives and property of every resident of the state, adding that the herders should work in harmony with the farmers so that there will be relative peace in the state.
He further urged the leadership of the herders to sensitize their members that are in rural areas not to go contrary to the laws, stressing that they should as a matter of urgency expose and handover miscreants in their mist to the police.
His words: “Herdsmen must obey the laws and regulations of their host states, that is if you are rearing your cow in Ebonyi, there is a law in the state guiding herdsmen operations which must be obeyed.
“In Ebonyi state, use of minor to rear cow is not allowed. There
is a limited time, you can rear cow and you should not be rearing your cows in the night.
“I need to warn sternly that the command will not hesitate to deal decisively with any act from any person or group deliberately orchestrated to truncate the peace we have worked so hard to enthrone in the state.
“The onus however is on you as civilians to monitor your ranks and ensure the criminal elements in your midst are isolated and properly reported to the law enforcement agencies for appropriate actions. You must challenge the prevailing negative narratives about Fulani
“We will not waiver for any reason in carrying out our statutory mandate of protection of lives and properties of law abiding residents of the state,” he stated.
The Chairman of herdsmen in Ebonyi State, Alhaji Ado Ahmed and the Secretary, Alhaji Haladu Ismail, in their separate remarks, requested that farmers should not take the law into their hands by killing members of the herdsmen and their cows because the herdsmen are working in accordance with the laws of the state.
The herders’ leadership however argued that herdsmen who rear cow at night come from nearby states and not the herders who are resident in Ebonyi state.