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Herdsmen Menace: Edo Traditional Rulers Send SoS to FG as Police, Vigilante Partner to Flush Out Killer Herdsmen


Following alleged incessant intimidation, harassment​, kidnapping and killing of their people by suspected Fulani herdsmen, traditional rulers in Edo North senatorial district have sent a Save our Soul (SoS) message to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The traditional rulers, who made the resolution at a meeting held at the Palace of the Otaru of Auchi HRH Alhaji Aliru Momoh, Ikelegbe III, called on the Federal Government to deploy soldiers to act as backup to the police
They alleged that weapons paraded by police operatives are by far inferior to those paraded by the marauders.
The Otaru of Auchi, who briefed journalists after the meeting, said several women in the locality have been raped by the herdsmen, adding that kidnapping activities have also increased in the area.
He also lamented that vigilante groups that used to dare the criminally-minded herdsmen have been demoralised due to irregular payment of their stipends apparently as a result of drop in government finances.
“We have a situation of the menace of Fulani herdsmen that have been operating and disturbing our farmers all over this place, it is increasingly very disturbing.
“Before now, herdsmen have always been coming, they have their routes they pass to the south and other parts of the country over the years. But now there have been issues of destroyed farmlands or people being taken as hostages, kidnappers all over the place, that is why we want government to do something
“We are appealing to the Federal Government to ensure that soldiers are deployed to some of these areas because we now find that the police don’t have the armoury, they don’t have the strength to address or frontally attack these very serious and violent situation that we are into in this country.
“There have been serious kidnapping of people in this area and we want support from the government to dislodge these violent people.
“The issue of vigilante is very important, they are not allowed to use heavy weapons and even at that they would want to dare the situation when it happens, but they don’t get the backing of the police. It happened in Auchi recently and we don’t want our state to be declared unsafe. But even at that the weapons these herdsmen are using is sophisticated that is why I said we need soldiers to come to the aid of our people,” the Monarch said.
Meanwhile, following relentless attack on farmers by suspected Fulani herdsmen, Edo State Police Command in collaboration with vigilantes and local hunters have concluded plans to commence tactical surveillance of forest suspected to be hideouts of notorious herdsmen and other criminals in the state.
According to the state Commissioner of Police, Haliru Gwandu, the exercise is aimed at smoking out all manner of criminals from the urban and rural communities in the state.
Gwandu, who spoke at a stakeholders meeting with traditional rulers, hunters and vigilante groups, said his command would not tolerate any vigilante group caught working with those he termed misguided elements.
He urged members of the public to provide information on forest and bushes suspected to be haven for Fulani herdsmen and other criminal elements in their domains.
The Edo Police boss, who warned local vigilante groups in the state against recruiting criminals or ex-cultists into their team, cautioned that the criminals should not hide under the vigilante to commit crimes.
He told the traditional rulers present at the meeting that plans were on the way to flush out criminal herdsmen from various forest in the state, just as he assured the gathering that any corrupt police officers found culpable would be dismissed from the force.
“Edo Police Command under my watch would not tolerate corruption coming from any angle. I didn’t ask anybody to extort money from anyone and you don’t have to be corrupt while doing your job.
“Government is showing serious concern about the activities of herdsmen in the state through joint forces combing the forest to flush out criminal elements in herdsmen,” he said.
Leaders of hunters, vigilant groups and representatives of traditional rulers expressed their readiness to sustain the partnership as security in their various communities is paramount.
Amongst those who spoke at the gathering are the representative of Otaru of Auchi Alhaji Usman Abuda, Chief Raymond Okpai and Chief Sunday Omonua of Ekpoma Kingdom.


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