The Anambra State Governor, Chief Willie Obiano, has declared that any herdsman found carrying a gun should be treated as a criminal.
The governor said it is unwise to treat them with levity, adding that a fresh census for all herdsmen in the state has commenced.
He said that once the exercise is concluded, the state will no longer tolerate itinerant cattle herders settling in the state, or even passing through the state with their herds.
Obiano stated this Tuesday in a stakeholders meeting on security with heads of various communities, security chiefs, traditional rulers and other groups in the state.
He said: “We have done census of herders in Anambra State last year, and they were 77 in number. We are doing a new one now, and after the census, we will never allow itinerant herdsmen to come in again.
“The ones causing trouble are not here (Anambra), they come in from outside. Also, we have heard reports of herdsmen who carry arms. Any herdsmen carrying arms is a criminal, and we will not tolerate that. If you find them, report them because they are criminals.
“We have prosecuted some in the past. We will not allow itinerant herdsmen to pass through Anambra after the census. We will have the names, phone numbers and addresses of all herdsmen in Anambra, and we will be holding meetings with them at intervals.”
The governor also said that his government takes security seriously, the reason the state has been proclaimed the safest in the country.
He said that his administration has been very supportive of security agencies in the state, as security remained everyone’s business.
“Anything about security is number one for me. We thank our security agencies for keeping Anambra on the high as the safest state in Nigeria.
“I have distributed over 520 vehicles to security agencies in the state and I made a designated petrol station where you go to take fuel to avoid saying you don’t have fuel when you get distress calls. Today, every police vehicle you see running around is fuelled by me,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Inspector General of Police (IG), Mohammed Adamu, has lamented the devastating effect of drug and cultism in the society, saying they are the twin causes of insecurity in the country.
IG Adamu, who was represented at a forum by the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) in charge of finance and administration, DIG Joseph Egbunike, stated this at the forum, while also charging his men to nip it in the bud.
He said: “Drug and cultism are the greatest challenge we have in Nigeria today. When they take all these things (drugs), they do not know the value of life any longer. That is the problem we have, but it is the responsibility of everybody to ensure that this stops.
“If you leave drug to fester in your division, there are chances that you may be a victim of it. You must work to bring down the use of drug in your areas. There must be synergy with NDLEA to ensure that this is brought down. You must work hard, and let those who can change be changed.
“Security is everyone’s business. Don’t rest because if you sleep, what happens in Sokoto may start happening here. Certain things should not be allowed to happen in Anambra. Peace is the only vehicle for any development. There is no alternative to it.
“The IG has directed me to commend the enormous contributions of the governor to security agencies. All your efforts in peace building and development is worthy of emulation. We ask you to keep strategizing and restrategizing because we will overcome someday.”
In his reply, Obiano charged leaders in various communities to bring the youths into leadership in a bid to curb the use of drugs.
“During the EndSARS protest, the security people were demoralized, and could not even move around with their uniforms, but the youth stepped in to do their work. That is what we want it to be. Security is the duty of everyone, even though government had the duty of security of lives and property.
“Bring the youth into the picture. In my town, it is the youth that made a law to stop the sales of drugs, and today there is no drug in the town. The youths are the people who know where they are sold and who the consumers are. We have to bring them into the picture,” Obiano said.