The Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, said on Wednesday that state governors should establish cattle ranches in their states before enacting laws to ban open grazing.
The IG said this would help to avert the conflict between farmers and herdsmen, noting that the Benue State crisis festered because the state government failed to first establish cattle ranches.
Idris said this at the Northern States Stakeholders Security Summit in Kaduna State, which held under the theme, “National Building: Security Challenges and the Need for Inclusive Approach.”
The IG noted that the herdsmen crisis did not start with the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.
He said, “It is my suggestion that to reduce clashes between farmers and herders, state governments should endeavour to establish grazing ranches in their various states before enacting laws to prohibit open rearing and grazing.
“It is when grazing ranches are established that herders can be arrested and punished for rearing and grazing on the open places. I am of the opinion that it will make the law acceptable by all the parties concerned and other critical stakeholders. It will do us good if we avoid the hasty formulation and implementation of such (anti-grazing) laws across the country in the interest of peace and unity. “
Speaking on arrests of suspected cattle rustlers, kidnappers and others, Idris said the police from December 2017 till date arrested over 200 suspects in various parts of the country.
He said, “Over 50 AK-47 rifles, 20 English made pistols, two 5MG rifles and over 1,000 rounds of AK-47 rifles and other assorted pistols ammunition were recovered from the suspects.”