The Federal Government Thursday said it has domesticated the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Trans-Human Movement Law and would commence its implementation.
President Muhammadu Buhari stated this at the 2017 National Security Summit organised by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) in Abuja.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister for Interior, Gen. Abdulraman Dambazau (rtd), said that the domestication became necessary in order to contain menaces of herders, militants and terrorists.
He said: ECOWAS protocol on free movement of goods and person has always been there from the word go but there is ECOWAS decision on trans-humans. That is movement from one country to another as herders.
The decision is that every country where these trans-humans come, they should prepare reception areas for them and issue them International trans-humans certificates for identification. They would also be monitored so that their movements are known.
So, this is an ECOWAS decision that was taken in 1998 but has not been implemented. ECOWAS is trying now to see how they can implement it so as to reduce the conflict going on between herders and farmers.
Buhari also attributed increase in crime rate to proliferation of small arms, noting that there were over 10 million illegal small arms in the country a decade ago.
He said: I did a research ten years ago and I discovered that over 10 million small arms and weapons were in the country and that was before Boko Haram and Niger Delta crisis.
I do not know the quantity as of today but certainly, they must have increased bearing in mind the flow of weapons from North Africa because of the Libyan and Malian crises.
Earlier in his address, Buhari said that armed Agro Rangers would be stationed in farms as part of measures to protect agricultural investment, farmers and herders.
He explained that the move would boost food security, economy and reduce incessant clashes.
He said government would pursue security governance initiatives that are broad based, adding that it had entered into bilateral and multilateral agreements with other stakeholders to improve nations security.
He assured of governments support in carrying out institutional reforms and restructuring to revamp police in line with global best practices.
He said government has launched national counter terrorism strategy, adding that security management was the responsibility of everyone including the international community.
Urging states to domesticate the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, Buhari said it would assist in harmonsing, punishing any criminal.
Acknowledging the challenges faced by the police, Buhari noted that there was improved budgetary allocation for the force, urging organised private sector to invest more in security sector as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
In an aside interview with The Nation, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Ibrahim Idris, said the way out of farmers-herders conflict was for Nigerians to be tolerant with each other.
He said: The main way to tackle the issue of herdsmen and farmers is for us to be our brothers keeper. We grew up in this country and we saw how people migrated to other places and settled peacefully. I think it is just the element of give and take that is lackingand like somebody observed, Nigerians are becoming intolerant of each other. Until we stop the intolerance and believe that we have to forego something in order to get something, the communal clashes and ethnic disagreements would continue.
The reason for the summit is for all stakeholders to assemble and proffer solutions to improving security across the country.
Highpoint of the event was the anti-kidnapping, K-9 and anti-explosives simulations exhibited by police operatives.
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