The Commissioner of Police in Benue, Fatai Owoseni, said that the command had adopted different strategies to curtail clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the state.
Owoseni, who made the disclosure in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Abuja, noted that the clashes between the two groups was a major security challenge in the state.
He said: “The major security challenge in Benue is the herdsmen and farmers clashes and different approaches have been used to check it.”
The commissioner said that the approaches adopted by the command to contain the incident included dialogue, intelligence policing as well as involvement of communities in activities of the command.
He explained that normal strategies of policing and community-based strategies in policing were also adopted to check the security challenges.
Owoseni said: “The security architecture has been put in place after IG-P Ibrahim Idris went to the state for an assessment before I was deployed to the state.”
He added that the command had followed the strategies adopted all along and utilised both human and material resources available.
The commissioner said that the deployment of 15 Police Mobile Units to the state was an added advantage.
He said that the command’s good working relationship with sister security agencies and support of the state government helped in curtailing the challenge.
The commissioner said that a number of arrest have been made in connection to the clashes and they were being prosecuted in the court.
He said: “Every security institution that is present in Benue is up and doing, quite a number of arrest were made and the police, being the institution through which prosecution is made, the suspects are being arraigned in court.
“The Army, NSCDC and members of the public do arrest and handover to us. I won’t be able to give the exact figure but quite a number of arrests have been made and they have been arraigned in court.”
On cultism, he said that a number of arrests have been made, adding that the new cultism law had also addressed the issue in the state.
He said: “We are lucky that the state has a new law that addresses the issue of cultism that is stringent and those arrested have been charged to court under the law.”
He urged Benue people to continue to support security agencies in the state as the task of securing the community was not just that of security agencies.
Owoseni reminded Nigerians and Benue people in particular that there was no name tag to crime and criminality.
He said: “The earlier that we realise that there shouldn’t be colouration of any kind be it ethnic, religious or political to crime and criminality and to criminals the better for us in Benue and Nigeria.”