As part of measures to stem the incessant clashes between farmers and herdsmen across the country, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Ibrahim Idris yesterday urged state governors to prioritise the establishment of cattle ranches in their various states before enacting anti-grazing laws.
The IGP who stated this at the Northern States stakeholders security summit which held in Kaduna state with the theme: “Nation Building: Security Challenges and the Need for Inclusive Approach” said doing so was the only way to make the law acceptable by all the parties concerned.
The IGP also cautioned against the hasty formulation and implementation of such laws across the country, stressing that doing so was capable of aggravating the reoccurring farmers/herdsmen clashes in the country. “ It is my humble suggestion that to reduce the incidence of clashes between farmers and herders in Nigeria, State governors should endeavour to establish grazing ranches in their various states before enacting laws to prohibit open rearing and grazing.
“ It is when grazing ranches are established that herders can be arrested and punished for rearing and grazing on the open places. For instance I have visited Benue and Nasarawa states and observed that the crisis trailing the Benue State prohibition of open rearing and grazing of livestock would have been mitigated if the state had first established grazing ranches before prohibition of open grazing as provided in the state law established by the state Assembly”.
He emphasised that the security summit was yet another golden opportunity to continue to dialogue and examine the question of security and its challenges in Nigeria, stressing that the protection of lives and property in any society must not be left to the police alone but must be everybody’s business while exploiting all options.
In terms of funding, the police boss disclosed that the police requires over N560 billion annually to transform the police to international standards. He lamented however that, “ only about N31 billion naira was budgeted for both capital and overhead expenditure for the police in 2017 out of which less than N10 billion naira was released.
“However let me proudly state that Mr President and the National Assembly are currently exploring alternative sources of funding for the Police. The Police Trust Fund Bill has gone far in both Houses of the National Assembly. It is hoped that when the Bill is passed into Law, the funding needs of the Police must have been adequately taken care off and the Nigeria Police is expected be one of the best in the world.
“Let me state unequivocally that the security architecture and infrastructure of any nation is not strong without the people. The people are the main reason why the architecture is reliable and dependable. You are the building block, without you it will not stand. I urge you to stand strong with the Police in the fight against criminality. The Police under my watch is more committed than ever to defeat all security challenges confronting us but we cannot succeed without you. We need the support of the people to be effective”, he stressed.