BY ISAAC OLAMIKAN
A special security meeting to tackle the problems of cattle herdsmen, illegal migration and human trafficking, kidnapping and other criminal activities in the state has been held at the instance of the Oba of Benin in his Palace.
The meeting was attended by the various heads of security agencies in the state including the Police, the Army, the Directorate of State Security, the immigration, Prisons and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corp.
Others are Enigie, leaders of the Hausa, Fulani and Nupe communities in Edo State as well as the Vice Chairmen of the Edo State Council of Traditional rulers and Chiefs.
In a remark, Oba Ewuare II said the purpose of the meeting was to hear from the security agencies the state of affairs with regard to security issues in the state, with a view of robbing minds on the way out of the problem.
His Royal Majesty who expressed worries over the activities of herdsmen, illegal migration and human trafficking said since 2015 he had started putting plans together to tackle the problems.
Omo N’Oba told the security chiefs that security challenges are disturbing the peace, tranquillity and development of the state, hence the urgent need to find lasting solution to the problem.
The Oba of Benin assured them that he would continue to do more to ensure that the people enjoy relative peace and sleep with their two eyes closed.
Oba Ewuare II told the security chiefs that whatever logistic requests they make that would ensure the effective security of the state will be communicated to the State Government for immediate action.
On his part, the Iyase of Benin, Chief Sam Igbe lamented the atrocities committed by herdsmen in the state, and wondered why nobody is doing anything about the killings, raping and destruction of farms.
Other Enigie and Chiefs that spoke said the cattle herdsmen have other intention apart from raring their cattle, and stressed the need for the cattle owners to develop ranches for their cow business.
They called for the establishment of community police and vigilante groups to complement the effort of the security agencies.
The leaders of the Hausa, Fulani and Nupe communities in Edo State in their separate remarks said cattle dealers are part of the problem, and stressed the need for concerted efforts to ensure that herdsmen who destroy farms are made to pay for it.
They promised to hold meetings with village heads in the various local government to sensitize them on how to handle the issue of cattle herdsmen.
The various security chiefs agreed to implement the decisions reached at the meeting, in so far as it will bring peace and tranquillity to the state.
They however requested for adequate logistics to enable them effectively tackle the security challenges in the state.
The security chiefs harped on the provision of enough vehicles and communication equipment to enable them respond to emergency or distress calls.
They also called on Enigie, Edionwere and Village Heads to provide security agents with useful information that would enable them track down these criminal elements in the society.
Other suggestions put forward at the meeting include the formation of task force at the three senatorial districts, the formation of committees and monitoring units at local and state levels to check the activities of herdsmen.
A committee headed by the commissioner of police was set up to help develop a template that would be used by the State Council of Traditional Rulers and Chiefs in achieving the desired peace and tranquillity in the state.