IYC sets up committee to check herdsmen attacks

Central Zone of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) in Bayelsa State has inaugurated surveillance and security committee to protect the state’s farmland, communities and indigenes from herdsmen attacks.
[FILES] Hausa-Fulani pastoralists move while their cattle grazing near some farms in the outskirts of Sokoto, Sokoto State, Nigeria, on April 22, 2019. - Massive expansion of farming in Nigeria has cut access to grazing land for nomadic herders and fuelled persistent violence. (Photo by Luis TATO / AFP)
Photo by Luis TATO / AFP

Central Zone of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) in Bayelsa State has inaugurated surveillance and security committee to protect the state’s farmland, communities and indigenes from herdsmen attacks.

The committee comprises youth presidents and clan chairmen of communities across councils in the state.

Inauguration of the committee may not be unconnected to last month’s attacks by suspected herdsmen on a Bayelsa community, which left over five persons dead.

Inodu, while inaugurating the committee, yesterday, at Ijaw House, Yenagoa, lamented the nefarious activities of some herdsmen, who flout the state’s anti-open grazing law by practising open grazing.
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He said: “We are gathered here as Ijaw people, sons and daughters here in Yenagoa, to discuss on the issues that border on Ijaw people with regard to the incidents of invasion of our communities and territorial borders by some herdsmen.

“As you are aware, the Bayelsa State government enacted the anti-open grazing law, the Livestock Management Committee, precisely two years ago.  The law prohibits open grazing in Bayelsa State and the state has designated areas for cattle rearing.

“So, the IYC Central Zone, under my leadership, has formally inaugurated the surveillance and security committee after having met and discussed with various youth presidents of communities and the clan chairmen.

“There have been killings of our parents and indigenes on their farmlands and we have resolved that we have to take charge of our communities and farmlands as youth leaders and youth leadership of our zone and chapters of this territory.”

Inodu said the enforcement team of the committee, headed by him, would mobilise and carry out surveillance across communities, farmlands and give information back to the council’s leadership, where necessary actions would be taken and legal information would be provided to the appropriate quarters for the needful to be done.

He added: “We have given them the responsibility to mobilise and guard our territories. They are advised not to take laws into their hands but do the right thing to satisfy the consciousness of the people.”

A lot of gadgets have been procured to carry out this responsibility. Much information has been gathered.

“Like I said, there is a law and by the grace of God, I am the chairman of the enforcement team, so the functions of this committee are in consonance with the state’s law. So, once we apprehend any errant herdsman, the team will hand them over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.”
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