From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi
Commissioner of Police in charge of Benue State Police Command, CP Tunji Akingbola on Thursday, stated that the violent confrontations between farmers and herdsmen have continued to threaten the peace and security of the state.
He maintained that the trend had continued despite sustained efforts and collaboration between security agencies, the state government and other community stakeholders.
The CP listed local government areas that are mostly affected by the farmer/herders clashes to include Guns, Gwer West, Agatu, Logo, Apa, Otukpo, Ohimini, Obi, Ado, Okpowku, Ogbadibo, Kwande and Makurdi.
He further explained that vandalism of critical infrastructure especially railway slippers, local militia gangs, cultism, kidnapping, armed robbery, humanitarian challenges, violent communal clashes and illicit arms/ drug trafficking have continued to threaten the peace of the state.
Akingbola however disclosed that his vision is to leave behind a solid infrastructural base for the people of the state by putting in place a combination of kinetic and non kinetic strategies to deter people from crime and criminality.
‘Already, some of these measures have been activated and are yielding some appreciable degree of success on its path.
‘The measures which are in line with the management objectives of the Inspector General of Police, IGP Usman Baba include constructive engagement and community partnerships, public campaigns and advocacy, intelligence led policing.’
Other measures, according to the CP are recovery of illegal firearms and light weapons, zero tolerance for corruption and respect for human rights.
The CP listed some of his achievements since assumption of office rescue of a kidnapped victim, arrest and death of two suspected kidnappers, arrest of suspected bandits, arrest of railway vandals and recovery of railway slippers.
The Police Commissioner further disclosed that suspected armed robbers.and cultists were arrested and firearms and ammunition were also recovered from them.