Determined to reduce clashes between herdsmen and communities in the state, the Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa had a forum with stakeholders where the issue of the possession of offensive weapons by herdsmen was greatly condemned.
Present at the forum which was themed “Fostering Peaceful Co-existence Between Farmers, Host Communities and Herdsmen in Delta State,” were representatives of Traditional Rulers’ Council, communities, farmers, Local Government Council Chairmen, Miyetti Allah, Miyetti Allah Kautu Hore, Cattle Dealers Association, Cattle Breeders Association, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Moslem Leaders, Civil Society Organisation, the Military, Police, Department of State Security (DSS) and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) as well as the Nigerian Imigration Service.
Governor Okowa while speaking during the event which took place at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba, urged participants to speak freely about possible ways to ensure a peaceful state where people co-exist and go about their business activities without fear.
According to him, “issues of misunderstanding between the herdsmen and our communities have become worrisome in recent times and we don’t want it to continue, Deltans are a hospitable people but, the would-be visitors to the state should know that they should live in peace with the people.”
“The communities are beginning to lose patience and I hope we will be able to speak frankly and in a peaceful manner for us to proffer ways forward,” he added.
At the meeting, it was resolved that security agents should be more proactive in the discharge of their duties. The people were called upon to be more vigilant and should report any sightings of people with bearing dangerous arms to the appropriate authorities.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr Alkali Usman in his speech, called for tolerance, cooperation, mutual respect and peaceful co-existence among the various groups.
There was free flow of information from the stakeholders as they bared their minds on likely causes of the attacks, their pains and likely solutions.