By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA—PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari is expected to host the conference on ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Goods and Services aimed at putting to an end illegal migration of herdsmen from other countries into the country as well as cattle rustling.
This is even as Minister of Interior, Abdulraman Dambazzau, has told residents of Federal Capital Terrotory, FCT, Abuja, not to panic over the alleged planned attack by Islamic Movement of Nigeria, otherwise known as Shiites in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
Briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Danbazzau said ECOWAS member countries, including some countries from the Central Africa, Mauritania and Morocco will take decisions that would stop killings by herdsmen.
He said the herdsmen killings had become worrisome to Nigerian government as well as other countries within the ECOWAS region.
He said: “Of course, it bothers us. Particularly, we in the Ministry of Interior since we have Immigration under our supervision and we have the responsibility on border security even though we have other services like the Nigeria Customs.
“And this is why we initiated the conference that is to come up between April 26 and 29, 2018 under the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons, Goods and Services, zeroing particularly on the protocol of trans-humans which was signed in 1978 and we are yet to implement them.
“I had meeting with the president of ECOWAS commission, the one that left and we agreed to have this conference sometimes last month but they were leaving, and the new set of management coming in, it was shifted to towards the end of this month.
“The whole idea is to look at this issue of movement across borders. The protocol provided, for instance, that any of such movement, of trans-human should be received at the reception centre by the host country and there international trans-human certificate are supposed to guide them. And not only that, they should also go along with international health certificates for the cattle they are going with.
Minister dismisses rumoured Shiites attacks on Abuja
On alleged plan by the Shiites to attack Abuja, he said: “Well, I am not sure of where that alert is coming from. You know that these days, you have to be very mindful of these things in the social media. It is like I saw one yesterday saying that there is going to be nuclear attack in the United Kingdom and this was broadcast by the BBC, and it is fake.
“So, you have to be very careful with that. But I want to reassure you that law and order exist within the society and the FCT minister is very aware and is on top of it because of what happened recently.
‘’The commissioner of police is aware and is part of it. About some people attacking or not, I think is something that we have to be cautious of where such information is coming from. If there is anything like that, you will get it from official sources.”