Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State has said that the aerial surveillance of communities embarked upon by his administration to check criminal activities and excesses of armed Fulani herdsmen has started to pay off.
Apart from helping security operatives to fish out criminals in their hideouts, Obiano disclosed that six camps of herdsmen located in boundary communities in the state have been located through aerial surveillance. The findings, he said, have prompted his administration to liaise with the leadership of the Fulani community to impress on the herdsmen to keep to the grazing terms the state government reached with term.
The governor assured the people of the state of maximum protection of their lives and property, adding that his administration has been collaborating with the Nigeria Police and other security agencies in fighting crime in the state, including the danger posed by possible Fulani herdsmen’s attacks on communities in the state.
He defended the incorporation, in the security arrangement of the state, of aerial surveillance of the state and its boundary communities using helicopters, noting that the exercise has gone a long way in further assuring the people of the preparedness of his administration to safeguard lives and property in Anambra State.
The arrangement, according to the governor, is primarily aimed at identifying major Fulani herdsmen’s settlements, other crime spots and security challenges in and around the state.
Governor Obiano pointed out that through such exercise, criminals’ dens and or other trouble spots, which could not easily be reached by land because of their remote locations, would be discovered and appropriate actions taken to preempt any criminal activities that might come from such locations.
That was how six Hausa/Fulani camps were identified in the state, most of them close to the boundaries, he stated.
The governor said his administration has commissioned the state chapter of the Miyetti Allah to coordinate the activities of the Fulani cattle breeders by visiting the camps to intimate them on the agreed modus operandi for grazing in the state.
This agreement, he explained, was developed by a committee he setup in the early life of his administration.
Under the deal, Fulani herdsmen are to pay full compensation when their cows destroy farmers’ crops or property belonging to the host communities, while the communities will pay compensation for any cow they wrongly kill.
He also said the group has been charged to warn the herdsmen that none of them should carry AK-47 rifles, guns and or/any other dangerous weapons, adding that any body found with such weapons will face due prosecution.
Obiano noted that the agreement, which is in operation in the state, has been sustaining the peace between Ndi Anambra and the herdsmen, stressing that “so far, both parties have kept to their side of the bargain.”
While debunking the rumour of an attack on Ogbunike community last week by the herdsmen, Governor Obiano urged Ndi Anambra to desist from peddling reports capable of inciting the people into violence.
Meanwhile, in a display of the spirit of brotherhood, Obiano has visited the victims of the recent Fulani herdsmen’s invasion of Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State, and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to sympathize and commiserate with them.
The visit, which was devoid of the usual media blitz and speeches, according to political observers, marked Governor Obiano out as a “sympathetic brother-leader.”