From: Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Members of the Delta Security Network have kicked against the recommendation of amnesty for Fulani herdsmen operating in various communities across the state.
Delta Security Network is an umbrella body comprising Urhobo Security Network, Anioma Security Network and Delta South Security Network, which are further broken down into local vigilance groups in the communities.
The group faulted the recommendation of amnesty for herdsmen, warning that approving such amnesty programme portends serious danger for the security of law abiding residents in the state.
At a meeting between the management of the Delta State Police Command and leaders of various Fulani groups, last Sunday, in Asaba, amnesty for herdsmen was one of the 12-point recommendations as a measure towards mopping up of light arms.
But Delta Security Network kicked against the idea, insisting that the nationalities of the herdsmen should be unveiled with a view to repatriating non-Nigerians who are said to be causing troubles for their host communities.
Rising from an emergency meeting, on Wednesday, in Asaba, leaders of the group including Comrade Itolddem Daghwere, Onwuamalieze Henry and Warri Eriques, said the implementation of the amnesty report would truncate the bill on herdsmen activities before the state House of Assembly.
“The recommendation of an amnesty in the police report is alien to us. We wonder who is to be given amnesty – is it the militant herdsmen who we suspect to be foreigners and not Nigerians as claimed by their leaders or the defenceless Deltans who are the victims of their onslaught? Are they saying they want to use Delta State money to fund an amnesty for foreigners?” they queried.
The group lamented that the six months of foot dragging by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on the menace of herdsmen across the state has led to loss of lives and properties as no fewer than 75 persons have reportedly be killed.
The group maintained that the 12-point report was conceived to kill the bill, which has reached public hearing stage at the House of Assembly, threatening that if the bill is not given priority attention, they would troop to the streets in protest.
They endorsed the bill for the control of nomadic cattle rearing and an effective neighbourhood watch scheme to ensure the protection of Deltans and intelligence gathering on herdsmen activities.