Proliferation of illegal firearms, responsible for cattle herdsmen Menace …Security Expert
By; Raymond Tedunjaye, Lagos.
The proliferation of illegal firearms in the country has been attributed as factor responsible for cattle herdsmen menace in Nigeria.
A security expert, Dr Bone Efoziem, made the assertion friday while delivering a lecture during the Crime Reporters’ Association of Nigeria (CRAN) 2015 Lecture/Award ceremony.
Efoziem, who spoke on the “Menace of Cattle Herdsmen: A Threat to National Security” noted that weapons used by the cattle herdsmen were too sophisticated and expensive to be bought by the itinerant cattle rearers.
According to him, there was an urgent need for the government to check the entry points of these illegal weapons going into the hands of civilians.
The security expert noted that before now, cattle herdsmen were only known to go about with knife and sticks, wondering where they got the current weapons from.
Instead of ranches, Efoziem advocated for grassing across the country, and adequate security to monitor the activities of the herdsmen. ”The cattle herdsmen are not educated enough, rich enough to import such firearms. So, who then is bringing these weapons to them. This is where the government has to look into. It is time the government knows who are cattle owners and rearers in Nigeria. The government should have a grassing centres were security agents can monitor herdsmen activities if the clashes must stop,” he said.
Efoziem, however, said that the notion that cattle rearers were Fulani cattle herdsmen was wrong, stressing that such connotations could only cause ethnic strife. He said before now, cattle rearers have been in all parts of the country without any problems.
The expert said that the security challenges in Nigeria should not be blame on the performance of security agents, rather, the government that failed to provide necessary equipment for their jobs.
Speaking at the occasion, the Inspector-General of Police, Solomon Arase commended the media for partnering with the Police to fight crimes across the nation.
Arase said the media had made crime fighting easy with the stories exposing criminal elements in the society, calling for more of such publications.
The IG, who was represented by the Force PPRO, ACP Olabisi Kolawole called for cooperation by all to fight crimes in all parts of the federation.
In his remark at the occasion, the chief host and Lagos State Police Commissioner, Fatai Owoseni pointed out that the enormity of human and economic loss suffered as a result of the menace of cattle herdsmen, is more than that survived as a result of insurgency.
Highlights of the event was the awards of honour bestowed on various persons in the private and public security, businesses, among them were the IGP Solomon Arase, Halogen Security Company, Commissioner of Police Oyo State Command, Leye Oyebade, DPO Sango Ota, SP.Yinka Egbeyemi, Commander Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Olatunji Disu, ACP. Usong Ekpo.