Sunday, March 25, 2018 6:21 am
The Commissioner of Police in Abia, Mr Anthony Ogbizi, has said that the Herdsmen/Farmers’ Conflict Resolution Committee, has effectively brought the recurring clashes between the two groups in the state under control.
Ogbizi said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in his office on Saturday, adding that they currently enjoyed peaceful and harmonious coexistence in the state.
He said, “Our function is to ensure that peace and order are maintained, prevent conflicts between herdsmen and farmers and ensure amicable resolution of conflicts, when they arise.
“”The evidence of the activities of the committee is the peace, which the state is currently enjoying,” he said.
He said that the pockets of clashes witnessed in some parts of the state in 2017 had been successfully checkmated.
“An enduring peace now pervades the length and breadth of the state and you can appreciate it if you move round the state,” he said.
The police commissioner said that to achieve the feat, the committee evolved proactive measures in tackling the phenomenon.
He said that part of the strategies adopted by the committee was to engage the leadership of Myetti Allah and farmers in regular interactions.
He said that the committee also tried to encourage the leadership of the two groups to endeavour to nip any misunderstanding in the bud before it could escalate.
“When you nip problems in the bud, you forestall their escalation, thereby promoting peace and order in the society.
“We encourage them to resolve their misunderstanding on their own and this has helped to deepen the relationship between herdsmen and farmers in the state,” Ogbizi said.
He said that the committee only intervened when issues could not be successfully handled by the leaders of the groups.
NAN reports that Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu constituted the committee last year in the wake of sporadic clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the state.
The committee has the Commissioner of Police as the chairman and made up of representatives of the Nigerian Army, State Security Service, state government, Eminent Persons Forum, traditional rulers and religious leaders in the state.
Others include representatives of Myetti Allah and farmers association in the state.
The committee, which was also replicated at the local government level, consists of the Divisional Police Officers, eminent persons in the locality, with the Area Commanders as the chairmen.