By Joseph Edeh
Abuja – The Nigeria Police Force on Tuesday inaugurated the Cattle Ownership Identification and Tracking tool to curtail cattle rustling in Nigeria.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, had on Dec. 13, 2016 inaugurated a 27-member National Implementation Committee for the curtailment of cattle rustling in the country.
The committee was mandated to work out modalities for identification and implementation of strategies to curtail cattle rustling and its attendant security implications in Nigeria.
Inaugurating the tool, the Chairman of the Occasion, former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon, said that security was every body’s responsibility and not for government alone.
“Security is everybody’s job and all hands must be on deck to provide it for our people,’’ he said.
Represented by Mr Mike Okiro , the Chairman of Police Service Commission and former Inspector-General of police, Gowon said that the tool would effectively check incessant cases of cattle rustling in the country.
Idris in his remarks, said that the menace of cattle rustling and Farmers/Herdsmen clashes had eroded unity among Nigerians.
He was represented by Mr Foluso Adebanjo, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of Information and Communication Technology.
“This is a “keg of gunpowder’’ that must be assuaged before it consumes all of us,’’ Idris said.
According to him, the force is collaborating with other security agencies to provide security for all Nigerians.
The police boss said that it was on this basis that the force decided to among, other measures to constitute the committee.
The I-G commended members of the committee for working very hard in the past eight months to come up with the tool to check cattle rustling.
He said that in the cause of carrying out the assignment, the committee approached several government and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) for support.
“So far, we have not received any substantial partnership package from these bodies but hopefully they will soon buy-into this project,’’ he said.
Mr Charles Ugomuoh, the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Force Animal Branch, said that no sacrifice was too much to reduce or eradicate security challenges in the country.
He noted that the frequent clashes between pastoralists and farmers had posed a negative impact on the socio-economic wellbeing of Nigerians.
Ugomuoh, also the chairman of the committee, said that the mandate of the committee was being carried out through provision and application of animal loading and offloading among others.
He explained that the technology would be deployed for proper identification, tracing and tracking of animals to prevent cattle rustling.
The chairman called for inter-agency and multi-sectoral collaboration to tackle security challenges in the country.
The National President, Mihyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), Muhammad Kirowa, represented by Mr Idris Bawa, said that the association would support the initiate to end the menace of cattle rustling in the country.
He commanded the Federal Government for its efforts to end cattle rustling.
In attendance were traditional rulers, members of MACBAN, framers, and government officials among others. (NAN)