Herdsmen: Police Boss Sues For Peace, Harmonious Co-existence | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Herdsmen: Police Boss Sues For Peace, Harmonious Co-existence

Fulani Herdsmen, Enugu
Posted: May 7, 2016 at 9:17 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)
Anolu Vincent
Taiwo F. Lakanu, Imo State Commissioner of Police, has called for peaceful co-existence and understanding between indigenes of the state and Hausa/Fulani residents in the state.
 Lakanu made the plea when he undertook an unscheduled visit to the Okigwe Council Area of the state, where he preached peaceful co-existence between the indigenous people and Hausa/Fulani people in the area.
The visit, which took place at the Okigwe Area Command premises of the Nigeria Police Force with the attendance of traditional rulers, indigenes and security operatives, was not unconnected with the recent alleged attack launched by the Hausa/Fulani herdsmen in Enugu State.
The visit to the area was reportedly informed by the fact that Okigwe is the home of many herdsmen in the state.
The police commissioner said his visit was informed by rumors that the indigenes were planning to launch a reprisal attack on the Hausa/Fulani people in the area.
Lakanu, whose speech was interpreted to the Hausa/Fulani people in their language by the leader of the Hausa/Fulani community in Okigwe, Alhaji Bui Yaya, said that there would  be no room for any form of mayhem, especially now that Nigeria is passing a critical stage.
“There is no time disparity and disunity in Nigeria will be allowed to rear its head not to talk of this period. We shall not bring in ethnic sentiment in Nigeria now. For the fact that Hausas marry Igbo people and vice visa, it is enough to bring in lasting peace in Nigeria. I, as the CP, will not be alive in this state and allow it to happen. Imo State Police Command is ever ready to enforce all relevant laws to maintain peace in the state and the nation at large.
“We will not allow either indigenous people or the non-indigenes to breach peace in the state. No person or group of persons should take law in their hands. We shall not condone that,” he said.
Lakanu, subsequently, gave out police hotline numbers to the people and formed a peace committee, which comprised security operatives, indigenes, Hausa/Fulani visitors, community leaders and traditional rulers.
“There is no room for panic, for we are on top of the situation. We shall be meeting regularly to ensure that no right of person or persons is breached in the state. But any dissident apprehended in the course of breaching peace will be severely dealt within the ambits of the law “ Lakanu said.
Reacting, Alhaji Bui Yaya said that there had not been anytime the Hausa/Fulani was planning for reprisal. “Even when four of our own were killed in Abia State, we did not launch back attack because of the way the Governor and the Police addressed us.”
Yaya, who said that the people of the state were misinformed about their activities in the state, debunked the allegation that herdsmen in the area go about their business with rifles and machine guns.
 He called on security operatives to look inwards, and any herdsmen apprehended with dangerous weapons or carrying out any dastardly action should be dealt with.
 Yaya, who also said that he has lived in Okigwe for 25 years, debunked the allegation that they came in to settle without informing the owners of the land.
“The community people know us by our names. We have always identified ourselves with the people and paid homage,” he said.
In his comments the leader of the Fulani herdsmen in Okigwe, Alhaji Bala Adamu gave an assurance that since the nation is one indivisible entity, the mayhem said to be caused by the herdsmen in Benue, Taraba, Enugu and other states could not take place in Imo.
“As the leader of the herdsmen in Okigwe, we want peace. We cannot be part of destruction of farm products. We also pray that the people we are in their domain should be at peace with us. We shall prove to the world that the information in some quarters were mere allegations. We are peaceful”, Adamu said.