In a bid to reduce violence, the Cross River Government is to set up a committee to foster healthy relationship between herdsmen and farmers in the state.
The state Director of the Department of State Services, Mr. Fubara Duke, made this known to newsmen, on Monday, in Calabar.
Duke said that the state took the decision at a Security Council meeting in Calabar.
According to him, the committee, to be known as herdsmen management committee, will manage relationships between herdsmen and their host communities to ensure peace.
“We have concluded arrangement to set up herdsmen management committee to foster healthier relationship between herdsmen and host communities.
“The governor has given the assurance that the state would not banish herdsmen from coming to do business in the state but will encourage them to conduct lawful businesses in peace and harmony with their host communities,’’ he said.
He described as untrue, recent media reports of killings by herdsmen in the state.
“Let me assure you that the Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, and the entire Security Council took serious exceptions to some stories that made headlines in some sections of the media about the carnage.
“We use this medium to urge journalists to always verify their facts by calling on any of the service commanders for briefs before going to press,’’ he said.
The director urged the residents to go about their legitimate businesses without fear of molestation.
“The Cross Rivers State Security Council has resolved to place a robust mechanism that will enhance collaboration with various stakeholders to permanently address the issue of inter and intra communal clashes.
“We have been urged by Gov. Ben Ayade to develop a workable template that will help to bring cultism and other ugly developments to a minimal level, such that will allow the citizens go about their daily businesses.
“We are more than ever committed to ensuring that the state remains a haven for business and leisure.
“We urge the residents not to relent in supporting security operatives with useful information to make Cross River to retain its status as the safest state and preferred destination,” he said. (NAN)