Delta State Government on Tuesday raised the alarm over regular herdsmen-farmers violent clashes leading to loss of lives and properties and plans to establish a security outfit to check rising insecurity in the state.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chiedu Ebie, made this known at a news conference in Asaba, and said that the proposed security outfit would be christened “Operation Delta Hawk”.
Ebie said that the state government was concerned about the rising insecurity in the state occasioned by herders-farmers clashes, kidnapping and other crimes.
He stated that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa was worried about cases of death and injuries resulting from the clashes and therefore, resolved to set up a security outfit to be controlled by the state in managing the security challenges.
Ebie, who was flanked by Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, said that the new security outfit would work with the vigilante groups and other security agencies in actualising the objective.
According to him, “we are concerned with the rising wave of insecurity involving clashes between herders and their host communities.
“This matter has been under the focus of the State Government since inception of this administration and had informed the appointments and governance structure that has been created since then.
“It included the creation of Office of Special Adviser (Peace-Building and Conflict Resolution), appointments of persons of Northern extraction and formation of Vigilante Groups in various communities.
“At the same time, we have been very active in the use of intelligence and a recent outcome of this application is the demolition and relocation of the Abraka Market which had turned into a meeting point and haven for criminally-minded persons.
“We have also been quite active in engaging with herders and their host communities to ensure mutual trust and peaceful co-existence through the offices of some of the political appointees.
“Against this background, the recent clashes are quite unfortunate, but let me re-assure Deltans that the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is rising up to this challenge.
“Already, full compliments of our security outfit are investigating the incidents and I am aware that some arrests have been made as mentioned by the Commissioner of Police recently,’’ he said.
The SSG stressed that the government was ready to rise to the challenge by establishing an independent security outfit to further deal with the challenges, adding that a Bill would be sent to the House of Assembly to give it a legal backing.