Anti-grazing law: Bayelsa govt raises alarm over arms build-up by strange people
By Ebiri Cole, Yenogoa
The Bayelsa State Government has raised the alarm over build up of arms in some parts of the state.
The Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo disclosed this over the weekend during a meeting with first class traditional rulers, Chairmen of Local Government Areas and some top security officers in Government House, Yenagoa. The meeting was monitored by Irohinoodua.
He urged traditional rulers and security agencies to complement efforts in implementing the state anti-grazing law to forestall herders-farmers crisis in the state.
According to him the meeting with the traditional rulers and security agencies had become imperative in view of worrisome intelligence at the state government’s disposal pertaining to increased espionage activities in most communities.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo maintained that the unconfirmed security reports also had it that there was a mass build-up of arms in various forests by people with sinister plans, who come into the state under the pretext of carrying out fishing, farming and other businesses.
He, therefore, stressed the need for people of the state, particularly the traditional rulers and youths to be vigilant as well as strengthen community policing across the state.
The Deputy Governor explained that the anti-grazing law was not made to witch-hunt anybody, but rather a proactive measure to avoid banditry and other security challenges facing most states in the country.
He added that the meeting was convened to discuss strategies to enable community leaders monitor the movement and activities of strangers in the various communities in accordance with existing laws.
“I can tell you substantially that most of our communities are undergoing espionage. We have some intelligence, though not yet confirmed, that there is a mass build-up of arms in our various forests, which we are not knowledgeable of.
“It is already here with us. So we should stop playing the ostrich by trying to cover the smoke with a basket. It is better to open up the smoke and deal with it. Therefore, all hands must be on deck to nip the herders/farmers problem in the bud
“Henceforth there must be a way of profiling any person who is not an indigene that comes into our communities: where the person is from, how long he or she will stay and what the person will be doing during his or her period of stay.”