By Festus Ahon
ASABA—DELTA State governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, weekend said a lot of herdsmen who were involved in kidnapping, other crimes and their accomplices in the state have been arrested by security agencies, disclosing that they will soon be arraigned in court.
Okowa who stated this in Owa, Ika North-East Local Government Area of the state during the launching of Ika Dictionary (Ekukwo Oku Nkowa) and lecture at the 19th edition of Ogwa Ika organised by Onu Ika Nigeria, said “Unfortunately, some of our people connive with these herdsmen to commit crime, they will also be tried.
“Most states are affected by the activities of herdsmen but, with the massive land in the North, through irrigation, they can have enough land for grazing with ranches. The harassment of developers by unscrupulous youths in the name of levies popularly known as deve will soon be a thing of the past because anyone caught extorting people will be prosecuted.
“I am excited to be here today, we should make efforts to preserve our culture and preserving our language is very important. I am sure that with this dictionary, many people will develop interest in Ika language and help preserve the language of the people.”
Okowa lauded Onu Ika Nigeria for deepening Ika culture, observing that the annual Ogwa Ika has provided a forum for the people of the area to meet annually and discuss issues of common interests.
In a lecture titled, ‘the paradox of nomadic Fulani herdsmen and host communities,’ Prof. G.G. Darah said, “The ultimate solution to the terror of herdsmen is in the restructuring of the political and economic systems in Nigeria. The popular demand is for the country to be run in accordance to the principles of federalism, which Nigerian nationalists agreed upon at independence in 1960.
“The conflicts generated by the nefarious activities of nomadic herdsmen are symptomatic of a larger structural and ideological crisis in Nigeria; the systems of power and authority in the country do not serve the interests of the vast majority of the people.
“The Nigerian government’s plan to establish grazing reserves and ranches is part of the modernization efforts, but, the government should not impose a law to dispossess communities and individuals of lands for the purpose.”