Ben Dunno, Warri
Delta state Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Mustafa, has explained that the command’s strategy of deploying over 120 mobile policemen into Abraka forest in Ethiope West Local Government Area and adjoining communities has helped in curbing herdsmen invasion in the state.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Sun, in Warri, CP Mustafa, noted that the strategy to fortified the Abraka forest and the neighboring Obiarukwu was taken after a careful review of the incidences of attacks on some farmers and their family members by the invading herdsmen who usually access the farmlands through the forest.
Mustafa noted that it was based on an incidence that occurred few days to his resumption of duty at the state command when a farmer (an indigene of Abraka) was shot dead in his farmland alongside his wife at a close range by herdsmen that prompted him to deploy men to the area.
He disclosed that as part of the commitment to ensuring that the men deployed to these areas were well-equipped, the command has made available motorcycles and walkie-talkie to enhance movement and communication between the command and the nearest police unit as well as have direct contact and dealings with the local vigilantes in these communities.
According to him, “Immediately after the Abraka incident in which a farmer was killed and his wife shot by the invading herdsmen, I quickly mobilised my men and moved in to the affected communities to curtail the escalation of the crisis in those area”.
“At Abraka, we have over 120 policemen who had been deployed on regular basis to comb the forest and we have over 70 who are going to continue to work in that place as standby personnel to ensure we are on ground to curtail such ugly incidence”.
“We are going to using more of motorcycles, the state government had provide logistics fort all these. We are not going to experience this again going by synergy we have working with both the government and the locals”.
“In Obiaruku which is a neighbouring community, a division is also going to be there to address this similar issues considering the fact that these two communities shares boundary”.
“Our security strategy in that area is covering both communities because they shared same boundary including the forest where the invading herdsmen stray into people’s farmland”.
“We have the policemen, the vigilante group who are fully equipped and armed, (not with pump actions) but the normal guns. They will work with the police to produce a good result by the grace of God”.
“At the same time, we are being proactive in all the places where farmers and herdsmen clashes are being experienced frequently”.
He disclosed further, “We are holding meetings with the local government authorities in order to nip it in the bud and to douse tension in trying to bridge the gap between the good herdsmen and criminals”.
“We are going to cement a good relationship with the peace loving herdsmen and farmers. I think the combing of the bush will nip it in the bud, Abraka will not record any case in that place again and also every trouble areas we will also apply the system”, CP Mustafa concluded.