GOVERNOR David Umahi of Ebonyi State has called on the Nigeria police to review the processes of arrests and investigations in its various chains of commands in order to gain more confidence of Nigerians.
Umahi bared his mind when he received in audience, Abubakar Marafa, assistant inspector general of Police, Zone 6, Calabar, M at the government House in Abakaliki on Wednesday.
The governor said the call became necessary to check the excesses of Nigerians who engage police operatives from the high command to investigate matters that could be handled at the divisional and state levels.
Umahi, according a statement on Thursday by Emma Anya, chief press secretary, pointed out that such practise which most times was designed to distract and settle personal scores brings about waste of the nation’s resources and security breach.
He said, “The only thing I will complain to you is the process of arrests which I mentioned to you earlier in private. We should take this beyond the state or the zone. We have the structure of the police post, the local government headquarters, zonal headquarters and the headquarters in each state and from there you now have the zonal headquarters comprising many states and the national headquarters in Abuja.
“We find it very strange a situation in which somebody will write a petition and nobody asks the petitioner to substantiate the petition with evidences but security agents will go ahead to arrest people.
“It is very worrisome because people hide under. It has happened before where people dressed in police and army uniforms will say that they came from the headquarters to make an arrest. In many cases, people they arrest are killed on the way. We are pleading that the organogram of the police should be followed so that before a matter goes to the zone, it must be transmitted by a commissioner of Police. From the zone it can go to the national headquarters if the petitioner or complainant is not satisfied. I think through this way, the society will come to have more confidence in the police.”
Umahi also spoke again on Fulani herdsmen, reiterating that his ban on cattle movements remained in force.
He warned that cattle rustlers from countries like Niger Republic and Chad would not be allowed to infiltrate the real Fulanis already living in the state.
The governor restated that the state would not chase the real Fulani herdsmen away. But he stressed that in a situation where they trespass into farmlands with their cattle, the people would not take it kindly with them.
His words, “A lot of Fulanis find it easier to settle in Ebonyi State and our position is that for those who have settled here for about 60 years, we will not ask them to go because they are our brothers and sisters.
“But we must stop those that come from Niger, Chad and outside our state to start moving their cattle past our land. We don’t want that to happen. They is nobody who will ask a Fulani man who has lived here up to 60 years to leave the state. No Eboyian has ever said that but we directed that no cattle should move from one farm land to the other.
“Wherever they (cows) are staying, the owners should be able to use woods and do a kind of fence or whatever it is called for them. They should get grasses and water for their cattle. By doing so, the cattle will not even subjected to diseases; they will be bigger and better.
“People should understand that one of the things we have in the state is farmland and so if it is not properly managed, there will be problem especially now that we have launched one-man, one-hectre programme.
“Everybody is now trying own a farm land and so such movement of the herdsmen will be almost impossible.”
Earlier, Marafa had expressed hope that with public support, the police would serve better.
He said, “Police are here to serve people but we need cooperation; synergy, assistance and information from members of the public. Without people’s assistance, we cannot arrest any criminal.”
— Oct 20, 2016 @ 17:00 GMT